CHIPPEWA (KDKA) — It’s no secret that money is tight in school districts all over. And, Thursday night, a district in Beaver County grappled with its financial woes.

The prospect of teacher furloughs and program cuts brought hundreds of people out to Blackhawk High School. There were few empty seats in the auditorium as the Blackhawk School Board listened to the concerns of one student after another.

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And the message from the students was loud and clear.

One student told the board, “It’s unfair to cut these teachers who have worked so hard for their students.”

Another student looked at the packed auditorium and said, “What you see now is a lot of school spirit. You have not seen this much in years. We have four languages with actual teachers, you want to take that away from us?”

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The audience broke out in loud applause.

Many of the complaints were directed at the school district administration because it has proposed to layoff teachers and cut programs, like business and language courses; and at the same time, refurbish an old elementary school and construct a new football stadium.

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Another student complained, “Families that wanted to move into our district are now leaving because of actions of our school board.”

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A member of the Blackhawk football team said, “We respect the importance of a balanced budget, but we ask the board to explore different alternatives, but keep our teachers, coaches, our programs and athletics.”