School Reform News staff
On June 16, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the state legislature’s Students FIRST plan for school construction and repair was unconstitutional, marking the fourth time in as many years that the Court has ruled school funding plans in violation of the state requirement for a “general and uniform” public school system. The legislature now has until August 15 to develop a fair system to avert the Court’s threat to shut down the public schools.
Following the Court’s ruling in July, 1994, that the existing system violated the “general and uniform” requirement, state lawmakers created a School Capital Equity Fund to be distributed by a newly established board. This plan was ruled unconstitutional by the Court in January, 1997. A subsequent plan, dubbed “Assistance for Building Classrooms,” was also ruled unconstitutional in October, 1997.