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ARIZONA 

Roosevelt Elementary Sch. Dist. No. 66 v. State of Arizona, 74 P.3d 258, review denied 2004 Ariz. LEXIS 8 (2004).

Eight school districts brought this action, claiming that the legislature’s failure to fund the Building Renewal Fund authorized in the state school funding statute resulted in a constitutional violation. The Court disagreed, and found no constitutional violation since the districts had failed to show any unmet needs relating to academic achievement caused by the legislature’s failure to fund the program.

 

Crane Elementary School District v. State of Arizona, Superior Court of Arizona, order dated November 27, 2003

Seven school districts bring an action claiming that the State’s school finance system is in violation of the education clause of the Arizona Constitution (Article XI, Section 1) because it fails to provide programs needed by at-risk students to meet the State’s academic standards. More information is available at http://www.schoolfunding.info/states/az/lit_az.php3.

 

Flores v. Arizona, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23177 (D. Ariz. June 12, 2002).

In 1999, plaintiff parents filed an action seeking declaratory relief against the State of Arizona and various school districts alleging that the State failed to provide limited English proficient children with a uniform program of instruction.  Flores v. Arizona, 48 F. Supp. 2d 937 (D. Ariz. 1999).  As a result, in 2000, the court ordered the state to conduct a cost study to determine a level of funding that would effectively implement English language acquisition programs in the state.  Flores v. Arizona, 160 F. Supp. 2d 1043 (D. Ariz. 2000).   After the study was completed, the parents claimed, inter alia, that the amount of money appropriated by the legislature was insufficient.  After further review, upon the State’s motion for reconsideration, the Court dismissed the parents’ claims, finding that the funding levels appropriated by the legislature bore a rational relationship to the estimated cost of the school district’s language acquisition program.

 

Hull v. Albrecht, 960 P.2d 634 (1998) ("Albrecht II").

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that a state school funding statute was unconstitutional on the ground that it failed to provide for the establishment and maintenance of a general and uniform public school system, since it provided that school district participation in the plan was optional.  The Court stated, “Differentially enabling two classes of districts to access their respective property bases results in systemic, structural differences in the ability of districts to exceed state minimums through local funding. Because of these structural differences, the Act as a whole continues to formalize and perpetuate a structure that fails the general and uniform test.” 960 P.2d at 639.

 

Hull v. Albrecht, 950 P.2d 1141 (1997) ("Albrecht I").

The legislature amended the state’s school financing system to include the Assistance to Build Classrooms (ABC) fund, which attempted to remedy funding disparities among districts by providing need-based income to poor districts.  The Supreme Court held that the legislation failed to meet the constitutional requirement of a uniform system of schools, because it caused continued substantial disparities among districts, it impermissibly delegated to local districts the responsibility to provide adequate capital facilities, and it failed to satisfy the constitutional mandate of adequate capital facilities throughout the state.

 
Roosevelt
Elem. Sch. Dist. No. 66 v. Bishop, 877 P.2d 806 (1994).

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the state's school funding system did not satisfy the constitutional requirement for the establishment and maintenance of a general and uniform public school system, since it caused substantial “capital facility disparities.” 877 P.2d at 815.