Peoria mom rallies parents to protest budget cuts to education

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

 PHOENIX -- Several hundred people gathered at the state Capitol to demand the governor and the Legislature reconsider proposed cuts to education and it's all because a mother of three decided she wanted to do something.

Brooke Kistner was thrilled with the turnout.

"It's crazy, right? I can hardly believe it!" she said. "It just really speaks to people's passions about what is happening in our education system right now."

On Friday, Kistner, who has stayed home with her kids for the past decade, and a friend were talking about Gov. Doug Ducey's plan to cut $113 million from education. Such a cut could mean a four-day school week in the Peoria School District where her kids are students.

"I said, 'We need to do something. This is not OK. Maybe we could start a protest,'" she said. "So Saturday morning I made this little event page and it took on a life of its own."

Hundreds of strangers not only joined her on Facebook, they showed up for the march, as well. Her three kids were there, too.
"I've learned a lot about you should never back down if you believe in something different," 10-year-old Justin said.

While there has been no movement from the governor's office, Kistner's husband, James, says Wednesday's protest is just the beginning.

"We need to speak up," he said. "We need to talk to the governor, talking to the Legislature, writing letters. It's amazing that just one person standing up saying something can make a difference. We can teach all of our children that you don't have to wait fo someone else; just jump out and be the one to do it!"