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As Arizona cuts eduction budget

Students protest at state Capitol

Published Feb 8, 2009 8:46 PM

On Jan. 28 over 2,000 students from Arizona’s three state universities descended on the state Capitol building in Phoenix to protest the legislature’s proposal to slash university funding by over $140 million for the remainder of this fiscal year (Feb. 1 to June 30, 2009). The proposed cuts would mean an end to many financial aid programs, increases in tuition and reductions in the number of classes offered.

The state faces a $1.6 billion budget deficit for 2009 and estimates a $3 billion deficit for fiscal year 2010. Gov. Jan Brewer made it clear that this burden will be placed on the backs of the working and poor people of Arizona. The new governor signed the budget proposal into law on Feb. 1 before rushing off to Florida to watch “her team” play in the Super Bowl.

The budget cuts not only drastically affect the university system, but also heavily impact Arizona’s community colleges, K-12 schools, vocational training and tutoring programs. About two-thirds of the budget shortfall will be extracted from education programs across the state.

Instead of cutting the millions of dollars budgeted to Joe Arpaio, the racist sheriff, or the millions used to build and pay for private prisons which house undocumented workers, the legislature has denied the people something they have a right to: education.