CHICAGO (CBS) — More than three dozen Chicago Public Schools students and other activists were marching through downtown and beyond on Friday, protesting possible teacher layoffs, and demanding better education funding.

“This is our government; we are the legislators. This is our classroom; we are the educators,” said Adam Gottlieb, an activist with the Revolutionary Poets Brigade as he helped rally students outside the Thompson Center before they started a march to City Hall, CPS headquarters, Board of Education president Frank Clark’s home, and then to Benito Juarez Community Academy in Pilsen.

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Protest organizer Nidalis Burgos, a senior at Lincoln Park High School, said there are many people who have failed the public schools.

“Everyone who’s above who is making decisions without keeping the citizens in mind is at wrong,” she said. “[Mayor] Rahm Emanuel, for instance, has been making decisions, wrong decisions, since the beginning by appointing members to the board who don’t really care about us.”

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Other students said an elected school board would help make sure the voices of the public and students are heard.

“I believe that we need an elected school board, elected by the citizens, in order so that we as constituents can be directly represented through a board; instead of Rahm Emanuel continuing to appoint members to the school board who are only furthering his personal interests,” said Sarah Jester, a sophomore at Walter Payton College Prep.

The students who gathered for the march came with several goals, including a protest against possible teacher layoffs if CPS doesn’t get more money from the state, and demanding a quality education.

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CPS, which is in the midst of protracted contract negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union, has repeatedly warned of potentially thousands of teacher layoffs if the district does not get budget and pension help from Springfield.