WASHINGTON (7News) — From New York to Milwaukee, protestors lifted their voices and raised their signs for a common cause.
On Wednesday they gathered outside the U.S. Department of Education in Southwest, D.C., then demonstrated at Lafayette Square, and walked to the White House.
"Charter schools have endless opportunities and students everywhere should be offered those same opportunities," said Sherlean Roberts, a Milwaukee charter school graduate.
The parents, students, and advocates said they're concerned about the U.S. Department of Education's proposed regulations on federal Charter Schools Program or CSP funds.
"We're speaking out against the specific regulations in the CSP grant that are basically limiting the ability to have new and existing charter schools expand," said Janel Artis-Wright, executive director of Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools.
Reverend Al Cockfield of Lamad Academy Charter School in Brooklyn, New York added, "We need the federal dollars to not only help us open but also expand and replicate excellence in our community."
The group says the proposed changes would make it nearly impossible for community leaders to launch, expand and grow charter schools.
The proposed changes have the backing of the National Education Association which recently sent a letter of support to the Department of Education.
D.C. public charter school parents, like Keyona Dobbins, want funding for charter schools expanded and say they serve a solid alternative to public schools.
"I had to move my children out of the public school because they didn't get the help they needed. I'm one that's standing for my community and my children," Dobbins said.
Marcquetta Stevens is equally as passionate about her son Malachi's DC public charter school.
"With this choice we have the ability to find a perfect fit for our kids and it's essential," she said.
According to the D.C. Public Charter School Board, there are more than 44,000 students enrolled in public charter schools in D.C.
They are independent, public, and tuition-free schools.
To read the NEA's letter to the U.S. Department of Education, click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page.