PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia public school teachers were on the picket lines this morning, protesting proposed cuts in education aid.

Chanting “Save our schools,” teachers carried picket signs outside Mayfair Elementary School to bring attention to cuts in state education funding.

The School District of Philadelphia is chopping $629 million to balance the budget, including cutting full-day kindergarten back to half-days.

Kindergarten teacher Diane Payne calls the program cuts horrific.

“They’re talking about cutting librarians, they’re talking about cutting art and music, they’re talking about cutting athletic activities,” Payne said this morning.  “I mean, the list goes on.”

The school district wants to reopen contract talks with its unions to save $75 million.  But Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan (center of photo) says that is not going to happen.

“I am not reopening the contract,” he told KYW Newsradio.  “My members do not want me to reopen the contract.”

Payne, the kindergarten teacher, says Gov. Tom Corbett could find money to fund schools if he would only agree to tax Marcellus Shale drillers.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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