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Lawyers Ask Judge To Throw Out Arizona School Funding Challenge

Lawyers for the state want a judge to throw out a challenge to Arizona’s school funding plan for maintenance and construction needs, saying the plaintiffs don’t have the right to sue.

In legal papers filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, attorney Brett Johnson argued the judge has no authority to decide if the state is providing enough money.

Johnson doesn’t address the contention by education officials, taxpayers and others that the lack of cash from Gov. Doug Ducey and the Legislature has left schools with hundreds of millions of dollars of unmet construction, maintenance and equipment needs.
"What we're trying to tell the other side is, there's a mechanism in place to address capital funding," Johnson said. "You just don't want to use it. You think there's a better funding system in place out there. And that's not for me to say. That's for the Legislature to decide as to the system."
Attorney Mary O'Grady, who represents the plaintiffs, said that argument ignores the fact that the state Supreme Court ruled as far back as 1994 that the capital funding plan in place violated the requirements of the Arizona Constitution.