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Letter Opposing Colorado Education Cuts Signed By Over 5,200

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DENVER (CBS4/AP) - Public school advocates say they want to make sure state lawmakers understand the impact of proposed education budget cuts.

They were at the state Capitol on Monday to deliver copies of a letter signed by over 5,200 people.

One of the groups behind the effort is Great Education Colorado. It said the letter is hundreds of pages long and includes comments and stories about the impact of cuts that have already been made.

It asks lawmakers whether they’re “OK” with such cuts and requests that they respond by e-mail, Facebook or regular mail.

“We appreciate your concern about education as we are concerned, but we are also faced with a reality,” Rep. Jim Kerr, R-Littleton, said to a group at the Capitol. “Reality is we’ve got a $2 billion shortfall in our budget.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper has proposed cutting $332 million from schools statewide to balance the state budget in the next school year. State lawmakers still need to come up with a plan of their own.

The parents say the only way to stop the bleeding is to permanently change how education is funded.

“It cannot be the case that my daughter only gets a good education if it’s a good economy, it’ not okay,” mother Chris Wood said.

Sen. Rollie Heath of Boulder has proposed asking voters to increase taxes to avoid the cuts. Republican lawmakers plan to introduce a resolution opposing the idea.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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