PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A sign of the times drapes from the side of the bus shelter at Forbes and North Craig in Oakland.

The poster depicts dollar bills and a graduation cap, each cut in half, with the words: “Cutting our funding is cutting our future.”

The campaign grew out of collaboration between Carlow University students and a ninth grade civics class at Barack Obama Academy of International Studies in East Liberty.

“Maybe nothing’s going to change, but at least we have a chance to voice our opinion and that’s what really civics is all about is being able to voice our opinion,” Civics teacher Kevin Reid said.

Reid prepares his students for Monday night’s Pittsburgh School Board public hearing, where each will have up to three minutes to speak. The topic of school budget cults hits close to home.

“I’m hoping to get our message across,” says ninth grader Montana Moore, “so that they understand this isn’t right.”

Their teacher’s primary purpose is to get the students involved in their community.

“We just want to show the students that you have power,” Reid says. “And hopefully that will get them to be productive citizens for the rest of their lives.”

The sign at the bus shelter also appears on a billboard in Harrisburg, near the state capitol. Legislators can’t miss it.

Student Joel Akrie agrees that it’s a big step from a civics textbook to the podium of a public hearing.

“It changed my outlook on it that we can actually have a word in what we do and say and that we can actually make a difference,” he said.

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