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School inflation funding could see appeal to Supreme Court next week

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Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2013 3:49 pm

After the Court of Appeals ruling regarding school district inflation funding last month seemingly came out as a win for education, some school and political officials said the money is not likely to come in this fall.

Attorney General Tom Horne is expected to make an appeal before the deadline on Feb. 14, and funding from the Legislature is not likely to happen for the 2013-14 school year.

The recent ruling called for inflation funding in the school formula since it had been cut off for the past three years due to a re-interpretation of Proposition 301 in 2010.

“If a petition is filed in the Supreme Court, nothing will happen until after that court files its decision,” said Ruth Willingham, a spokesperson for the Court of Appeals.

State Sen. John McComish said Wednesday he thinks an appeal should be made, if only to get a “final answer” on the need to fund for inflation from here on out. When asked, McComish said he felt like the Court of Appeals’ ruling was not the last word.

Next fiscal year, however, Gov. Jan Brewer has allocated funds in the state budget totaling about $76 million for school staff performance pay and Common Core funding, roughly the same amount of money that would have been given for inflation next year.

“It’s very close to what the inflator would be,” McComish added.

While the governor’s funding for Common Core Standards and performance pay are two key areas needed for schools, it still does not address the court ruling for future inflation funds and the Voter Protection Act that guarded Proposition 301.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com. Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.

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