NEW YORK (PIX11) — On the heels of recently announced deep cuts to the New York City budget, including more than $500 million to city schools, parents and advocates are pushing back.

The core of these cuts to schools are essentially a hiring freeze and getting rid of 37,000 vacant pre-K and 3-K slots.

“It was exciting to get her into the 3-K program this year, and then if they cut those slots for next year, it’s concerning,” said Harlem mother Cinnamon Batista.

Batista said the high-quality early learning has been transformational, not just for her daughter Savannah, but the whole family.

“It’s difficult for parents who work, and this helps us out when we need them to be at school and us at work,” Batista said.

She was not the only one deeply concerned about the deep cuts to city schools.

Advocacy groups that included Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, rallied outside City Hall. They said the city’s fiscal footing is better than the mayor is letting on.

All cuts are subject to approval by the New York City Council, and many members have vowed to fight all cuts to schools.