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Arizona Bill Blocks School Districts From Rejecting Sale, Lease Offers On Buildings From Charter And Private Schools

Five years ago, the Tucson Unified School District sold a no-longer-needed building to a developer for $1.6 million —  $400,000 less than what was offered by a Christian school.

Arizona lawmakers voted on Tuesday to block districts from doing that again.

The legislation states that when a district offers a building — or even part of a building — for sale or lease, it can’t accept an offer from a potential buyer or tenant “that is less than an offer from a charter school or private school.”

Nothing in House Bill 2460 requires a school district to sell or rent to anyone. But it does say that once a property is offered for sale or lease, the district cannot pull it off the market “solely because a charter school or private school is the highest bidder.”

In previous hearings, the bill’s sponsor Republican Rep. Vince Leach said his bill isn’t about helping the competition.

"You go to auto malls and you see every day Chevrolet. And the sign truck is there, taking down Chevrolet and putting up Ford. That happens every day in the business world," said Leach.

The bill now goes to Gov. Doug Ducey.