Hundreds Of Parents, Teachers And Students Protest Education Cuts

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 6:13pm
(Alexandra Olgin KJZZ News Phoenix)
From left to right: Karalynn, Lucy and Katelynn Mora Of Deer Valley School District protest with their own signs.

Parents, teachers and students are concerned about cuts to Arizona’s public schools. Several hundred came to the capitol Wednesday afternoon to protest Governor Doug Ducey’s proposed budget. 

The Governor’s proposal would cut more than $113 million from what the governor calls non classroom spending.  

At a bill-signing ceremony earlier in the week, the governor said, “We’re putting more dollars into K-12 education that was there last year. And we are moving dollars to the classroom [which] is a positive. We think parents agree and we think parental choice and excellence in education and a focus on results is going to be the hallmark of our administration.”

The Mesa Public Schools published a video on their website explaining how the proposed cuts would affect the district.

“The executive budget proposal cuts funding to non-classroom areas to create the appearance of increased classroom spending, kind of like taking a bite out of all the other pieces of a pie to make one look better," the video said.

It's messages like that from school superintendents across the Valley that brought the parents down to the capitol Wednesday afternoon. Brooke Kistner, a parent and school employee, organized this protest through social media.

“There’s really nowhere else left to cut," she said. "Now we are at a point where we are going to be cutting nurses and custodial staff, and transportation and food service. And to say those cuts won’t affect the classroom is wrong. Kids can’t go to class hungry.”

If the proposed budget is approved as is, it would mean $8.5 million in cuts to the Mesa School District. Phoenix Union said it would mean between $3 and 5 million in cuts and Peoria Unified School District is considering going to a four-day school week to compensate for the decrease in funding. 

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