NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Parents and supporters called on the New York State Board of Regents on Wednesday to save free after-school tutoring.

Advocacy groups and community leaders were on the steps of City Hall  asking the board to carve out a wavier for supplemental educational services.

Advocates say that almost 90,000 low-income students, who are stuck in failing schools across the state, get tutoring to help them try to succeed on the same level as their peers.

“This is a life raft for students that are struggling and that are failing in schools that are considered failing. It doesn’t make any sense to take it away. I think in a lot of ways, it flies in the face of what the Board of Education — what I believe they’ve been trying to do — which is ensuring that every child has access to an awesome education,” the director of the NY Campaign for Tutor Our Children, Adrienne Nyamsi, said.

Others say that despite the difficult economic situation in the city, tutoring programs should not be the casualty of cost-cutting.

“I always say sometimes cuts are painful and these situations, in these times — you know, we’re in a fiscal crisis in the city and in the state. But if you’re going to cut, you should cut where the services are needed least, instead of cutting them where the services are needed most,” Rev. Taharka Robinson said.

The state plans to end the program on Feb. 13.

Should the state shut down the program?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

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