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Protesters march against proposed budget cuts to Arizona’s education system

PHOENIX — Hundreds of students, parents and teachers marched around the Arizona Capitol Thursday protesting proposed budget cuts to the state’s education system.

Chants like “S.O.S, save our schools,” and “Doug Ducey step off it, put students over profit,” echoed from the State Senate building to the House of Representatives.

“People are really frustrated with what’s happening with this budget and education,” protester Brooke Kistner said. “I think people are tired of the game (lawmakers) are playing with shifting money around.”

Kistner helped organize the rally. The mother of three works within the Deer Valley Unified School District and claims her district, along with many others in Arizona, already suffers from a lack of funds.

She said schools will not just lose money if the proposed budget is implemented but also, “things like textbooks, nurses, crossing guards, librarians, art teachers, music teachers, reading specialists, school psychologists and assistant principals.”

A large number of students from Arizona State University attended the event like Gilbert Romero. He said students are tired of lawmakers overlooking the state’s education system.

“We cannot handle any more budget cuts,” Romero said. ” Our state (education system) is 47th in the country and it would put us 50th in the country if these budget cuts went through.”

Jessica Suerth contributed to this report