Arizona ordered by judge to pay schools $1.6B over five years
- Arizona must pay $1.6 billion to its K-12 public and charter schools over the next five years, according to a Wednesday ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper.
- The decision in the lawsuit over school funding requires the state to make an initial $317 million payment this year.
- The judgment follows an earlier court decision that found Arizona had not adequately covered the costs of inflation when funding its public schools under the state's Proposition 301 during the Great Recession.
The Arizona Republic reports that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have yet to publicly address the bill, though they have reportedly been meeting in regard to it. While the state is likely to seek an appeal and a stay on the payment, and even if that doesn't happen, both the legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer aren't likely to deal with it during election season due to the bad press and negative voter sentiment any squabbling could bring. Plus, Brewer isn't seeking reelection. No matter what happens, this is ultimately a headache that whoever is elected or re-elected in November will have to face, and a full-blown migraine for the schools that need the funding.
Follow Roger Riddell on Twitter