Advocates for public schools protest state budget

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Thousands show up to protest

PHOENIX -- Advocates for public schools are planning to hold a large protest Wednesday afternoon at the Arizona Capitol as Gov. Jan Brewer makes a speech to the Legislature about the state's budget crisis.

The protesters will include people from school organizations, labor unions and other groups critical of budget cuts already made and the prospect of deeper reductions.

In January, the Legislature cut about $130 million from K-12 public schools as part of closing a $1.6 billion shortfall in the then-$9.9 billion budget for the current fiscal year.

The school reductions included reduced funding for equipment and were much smaller proportionally than cuts imposed on most other state programs such as universities and state agencies.

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