Hundreds of advocates say they want the city to keep funding for adult literacy classes on the books.
More than 250 students, teachers and advocates rallied on the steps of City Hall to push Mayor Bill de Blasio to re-up $12 million dollars in funding.
The NYC Coalition for Adult Literacy says the mayor did not renew funds for English language and high school equivalency prep classes in his most recent budget.
Critics say the courses are critical for the city's future.
"If New York City wants to be prosperous in the next generation, we have to make sure that everyone, in all five boroughs, in every community, has a chance to contribute," said Tom Hilliard, senior researcher at the Center for an Urban Future.
It's for myself. It's for my daughter. It's for get a better job and contribute to this country," said one person at the rally.
"We're not just talking about our immigrants. We're talking about all New Yorkers getting access to education so that they can unlock their full potential," said City Councilman Carlos Menchaca of Brooklyn.
Advocates say more than 2 million New Yorkers are in need of adult literacy classes.