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.”