He was joined by the state superintendent of public instruction and other officials as he listened to teachers, students and parents about the impact of cuts on education.
Brown proposes a mix of cuts and tax extensions to close the state's budget gap, but has not been able to win enough republican support for his plan.
"We had a lot of exuberance driven by ever escalating debt and now we have to go through this painful process called unwinding debt," said Brown.
Brown needs the votes of two Republicans in both the state Senate and state Assembly to achieve the two-thirds majority needed to place an extension of tax increases on a special election ballot.
Without it, he says, cuts will be much deeper.