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School choice advocates say Arizona is overdue for a funding overhaul

On the April 6 episode of The Show, we heard about a proposal to overhaul the way public schools are funded in Arizona.

The measure, which was heard by a Senate committee last week, would give more money to schools. The proposal was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on a party-line vote last week, but hasn’t moved beyond that. In conversation with Capitol Media Services, Senate President Karen Fann expressed concern about the proposal and how it’d affect schools in her district.

Charter schools would all generally stand to increase their funding, but more than 100 districts say they would lose money.

John Scholl, Superintendent of the Chino Valley Unified School District in Yavapai County, says his would be one of them.

"We’d lose between $500 and $600,000 once this plan was fully implemented, and that’s per year. About 3% of our budget," Scholl said.

Part 1: Lawmakers want to overhaul how schools are funded. Some educators are worried

But supporters of the proposal say it wouldn’t have to be that way.

Matthew Simon is vice president of government affairs & advocacy for Great Leaders Strong Schools, which advocates for school choice. He says the time is now to revamp the state’s school funding system.

The Show spoke with him and asked why he thinks this proposal is the way to do it.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.