Hundreds of teachers, secretaries, instructional aides, parents and students gathered along a stretch of Martin Luther King this afternoon to protest funding cuts for public education.

The protestors lined the sidewalk in front of the Berkeley Unified School District building and held up signs saying “Save Our Schools,” “Support Public Education,” and “Honk for Teachers.” Many of the cars driving by blared their horns in support.

“It’s really important for our society to fully fund education so students in the future can come up with solutions for our problems,” said Rebecca Friedman, a senior at Berkeley High.

The rally was organized by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, which has about 900 members, and the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees Union, which has  450 members, according to Paula Phillips, the president of the BCCE.

While there were protests against cuts to public education all around California today, the unions wanted to create a place where people could rally locally, said Cathy Campbell, president of the BFT. The unions are urging people to write their legislators about the cuts and to sign the initiative that would let California adopt a budget with a majority, rather than two-thirds vote.

Above: No Cuts signs and Maddy William, a kinergartener at Emerson Elementary, protests with her mom, Zoe.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...