Schoolhouse Beat

Arizona Supreme Court rules that schools are entitled to more funding

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that lawmakers must pay for inflation funding for the K-12 system as mandated in a 2000 ballot initiative. The Arizona Republic reports that the unanimous opinion translates into millions of additional dollars for schools. Justice John Pelander, writing for the five-member court, said because the legislature did not include full inflation funding for the schools’ base formula in the fiscal 2011 budget, it ran afoul of the Voter Protection Act and its limits on changes to laws approved by voters. The Legislature also failed to fully fund inflation in fiscal 2012 and 2013. The forgone funding amounts to at least $250 million; some estimates put it closer to $300 million.

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