CENTEREACH - Students and parents gathered today in Centereach to support the Middle Country Central School District's budget ahead of a key vote.

The school district lost $9.3 million in state aid, one of the highest cuts on Long Island.

"We need the elected officials to treat us fairly and give us our fair share so our children will be able to be educated and compete to get into colleges in the future," says parent Linda Loverde.

In an effort make up for the lost school aid, the district dipped into its reserves and cut 22 positions. In addition, teachers took a salary freeze, saving nearly all of the programs for kids.

"We managed to survive this year, provided the community supports the budget," says Middle Country School Board President Karen Lessler.

The budget vote for all of Long Island's school districts will take place Tuesday, May 17.