Judge agrees to cancel Arizona school funding trial

Attorney General Kris Mayes || Mario Tama/Getty Images

By Yana Kunichoff || The Arizona Republic

Arizona’s school funding trial, set to begin Monday, was canceled so the parties can meet in March to determine what they can agree on out of court.

The decision comes shortly after Arizona’s new Democratic attorney general, Kris Mayes, asked for a delay so her office has time to determine “whether some or all of this litigation can be resolved without the need for a trial.”

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Dewain Fox approved Mayes’ request Friday. A status hearing is set for March 17.

School districts, public education groups and individuals sued the state in 2017 arguing that billions of dollars in state budget cuts have for more than a decade shorted schools of capital funding for school maintenance, buses, textbooks and technology.

Republican Mark Brnovich, who preceded Mayes as attorney general, fought their argument that the state, not school districts, is responsible for making sure students are not learning in an environment of leaky roofs and tattered carpets.

Mayes has shifted the state’s position in the case and said in filings that the state will no longer argue that the capital funding system is beyond the purview of the courts, or that the districts bringing the case need to prove that specific students didn’t receive an adequate education due to their school’s capital facilities


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January 2023