BRIDGEPORT - Dozens of parents and school administrators came together in Bridgeport tonight to plea for state aid in an effort to avoid school budget cuts.

The Bridgeport School District is facing a $17 million budget shortfall, which Superintended John Ramos says could result in hundreds of layoffs by October.

Protesters say they want Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-Conn.), state lawmakers and Mayor Bill Finch (D-Bridgeport) to step up and help the underfunded schools.

Finch released a statement tonight saying, "To get to a solution, we need to put politics aside and remain focused on our children. We will continue to work around the clock with our superintendent, the Board of Education and state officials to resolve this critical issue."

BOE asks state for money to keep Bridgeport school openBridgeport School District looking to make $19 million in cut