The Arizona Supreme Court says the Legislature must give schools an annual funding increase even in lean years to account for inflation as voters directed in 2000.
The high court on Thursday upheld a Court of Appeals decision that said the voter-approved law raising sales taxes and directing lawmakers to make annual school funding adjustment is covered by the Voter Protection Act.
The Legislature increased both base funding levels and money for school busing each year through the 2000s.
School districts and education groups sued after the Legislature in 2010 instead only increased transportation funding because of a budget crunch. That eliminated a $61 million increase in general school spending.
The Voter Protection Act severely restricts the Legislature's to change voter-approved laws.
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