Arizona schools trial begins against the state

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A trial began yesterday in which Arizona schools will try to convince a judge the state is not adequately funding them.

The schools will argue Arizona has failed to establish minimum adequate facility standards and will ensure districts stay above those standards. The schools’ representatives argue they are not receiving necessities such as textbooks and school buses.

Chuck Essigs, Director of Governmental Relations at the Arizona Association of School Business Officials, joined us to discuss the issue.

“The claim is they are no longer meeting the requirements to have a general uniform system,” said Essigs. “Part of that problem is a capital funding formula for school districts.”

According to Essigs, school districts can pass bonds or an override could have a huge advantage.

“There’s a number of districts that can’t pass bond elections for two reasons: one is they don’t have the tax space, then there’s some that do have the tax space, but voters wouldn’t approve it,” said Essigs.

If those who file the claim lose, Essigs added the school districts are in trouble and can create more concern when it comes to funding.

“They won’t have resources to do the things they say in the lawsuit the state is not taking care of,” said Essigs.

Chuck Essigs, Director of Governmental Relations, Arizona Association of School Business Officials

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