What’s going on with Prop. 208?

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Prop. 208 was approved by 1.7 million voters in November 2020, but it is currently facing legal challenges from members of the Arizona legislature. The Maricopa Superior Court is set to rule on the proposition, which was intended to raise taxes to help fund teacher salaries and education voters. We talked with Chuck Essigs from the Arizona Association of School Business Officials for more on Prop. 208.

Despite a $1 billion surplus in the Arizona budget, the Arizona legislature has failed, year after year, to distribute sufficient funds to Arizona schools. Prop. 208 allows for tax money to be directly allocated for, and distributed to Arizona schools without the need for approval by the Arizona legislature.

Opponents of Prop. 208 have cited an expenditure limit for Arizona schools in the state constitution, established in 1980.

“We have a 1980 arbitrary limit that puts funding cap on education,” said Arizona House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding, “We don’t do that for anything else.” He added this “arbitrary” spending rule must be removed by voters.

Prop. 208 is currently facing legal challenges claiming schools will exceed the spending cap with it in effect, however, the Arizona legislator has a March 1st deadline to approve a one-time raise of the spending cap by 2/3 majority vote.

To pass is needs two thirds of the house and two thirds of the senate to vote in favor.

Dr. Chuck Essigs, Director of Governmental Relations

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