Hundreds of public school teachers, students and supporters joined organized labor leaders on the Boston Common Thursday to demand that lawmakers on Beacon Hill provide more funding for local schools.

Standing on stage, with the State House dome in the background, Boston NAACP president Tanisha Sullivan said school funding is a racial justice issue because the current formula gives wealthy white communities more from the state than communities of color.

"Working class families are the backbone of our economy. They are the engine that keeps this commonwealth running ... and the children growing up in those families deserve the same access and support as children from more wealthy families," Sullivan said.

Teachers unions support an overhaul of the formula used to fund local district schools that would address increased health care costs, English language learners, special education and the racial achievement gap, which would costs billions to fully fund.

Lawmakers say they're working on a plan to overhaul the formula, but teachers unions and municipal leaders say the current formula is unfair and hasn't kept up with the cost of educating students. Democratic leaders are weighing their options, which include increases taxes to come up with the billions that would be needed to fully fund schools.

Weymouth education support professional Joni Cederholm said schools need to spend more on students from troubled backgrounds.

"The public school system has an obligation to help these students. ... We need more counselors. We need more staff. We need more classrooms. We need more support," Cederholm said.

Before the hundreds of red-shirt-wearing education supporters took to the Common, dozens of advocates and clergy members were inside the State House to demand action from House leaders and Gov. Charlie Baker.

Local faith leaders have long been a part of the coalition urging lawmakers to invest more in schools, but this time, it was the faith leaders like Rabbi David Jaffe at center stage, demanding the House and Senate, along with Baker, immediately support a reworking of the local school funding formula.

"Governor, do not sacrifice our children," Jaffe said in front of Baker's office, leading activists in a chant.

Colin Leech, the pastor of the Church on the Hill, right across the street from the State House, joined the demonstrators outside the office of House education chair Alice Peisch to deliver letters demanding action.

"When people are speaking up, people are coming out to raise their voices, we want to be here to support them. We want — when they come out on the street, they've got something to say. The clergy want to support them," Leech said.

Lawmakers failed to compromise on a funding bill last year, but say they will address local funding this year.