Courtofappeals Resized

The Arizona School Boards Association applauds the unanimous decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals that the Legislature must uphold the will of the voters and fully fund the K-12 education budget to account for inflation. This legal requirement was put into place when Arizona voters passed Proposition 301, a legislative referendum, in 2000.

ASBA has led a coalition of education organizations in the legal effort to compel the legislature to live up to its obligation to fully fund inflation, and obligation that the Legislature fulfilled for almost a decade until 2010.

Arizona public schools would have received $81.6 million in inflation funding this school year (FY13), versus the $7.2 million that was allocated, had the legislature followed the law. The state’s failure to fully fund inflation over the past three years has meant a loss to Arizona students of nearly $250 million.

“After five years of cuts to education totaling close to $1 billion, this affirmation that basic legal funding requirements must be met should be seen as a critical victory for public education,” said Chris Thomas, ASBA’s general counsel and director of legal and policy services. “The ruling is also a victory for voters and the voter protection act. It’s a message to the legislature that when the voters pass something, they are bound to uphold it.”

Read the opinion: