Next Senate leader says school money eyed for cuts

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PHOENIX -- The Arizona Senate's next president says spending for public schools will be on the chopping block when lawmakers work to keep the state budget in the black.

Senate President-designate Bob Burns said state funding for K-12 schools accounts for such a large part of the budget that a budget fix will require cuts in education funding.

The Peoria Republican will become Senate president in January. He discussed possible budget cuts during a luncheon panel discussion held Tuesday by the Valley Citizens League.

House Democratic Leader-elect David Lujan said it'd be shortsighted to cut education funding. The Phoenix Democrat declined to identify spending that could be cut.

The state faces a projected $1.2 billion shortfall in the current $9.9 billion budget.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)