PARKCHESTER - A group of Parkchester parents and teachers left for Washington Tuesday to lobby Congress against layoffs and push for the building of new schools.

"Education is far too important for it to be a ploy or a toy to be played with," says Bronx teacher Aqeel Williams. "We have to let them know."

The group plans to meet with members of Congress from New York to try and ensure funding for education is a vital part of the federal economic stimulus package.

"If we don't get more money fast from New York State, there could be up to 15,000 teachers lost in the classroom," says Paul Egan, of the United Federation of Teachers. "That will be devastating to the education children in New York will receive."