Defender Of Arizona Public Education Funding Stepping Down

Published: Monday, June 12, 2017 - 12:54pm
Updated: Monday, June 12, 2017 - 1:15pm

For 26 years, Tim Hogan has fought for Arizona’s underdogs as an attorney at the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest.

In his career span, he has fought for public policies with every governor since Fife Symington to Doug Ducey.

The self-admitted watchdog announced last week he will step down as the agency’s director.  When asked why he does not stick around as director, Hogan said the job entails much more than his legal expertise to keep the organization running.

"Our budget's about a half a million dollars,” Hogan said. “And right now almost 80 percent of that is individual contributions.”

A fact that of the position “that requires time and effort. I mean, that's labor intensive."

Hogan is behind the court decision redistributing Arizona’s property taxes between wealthy and poor school districts in 1994.  He also fought for fairness in utility rates.

"He was a really important guy you could not ignore,'' Symington said looking back on Hogan’s work. "I always admired him as a professional.''

Symington didn’t necessarily agree with him in the 1990s, but with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and the pressure of paying for it off his shoulders, Symington admitted Hogan’s work on behalf of school financing were probably ultimately right.

"There had to be some ways to balance out the disparities,'' he said, saying Hogan "used the law to achieve benefits for public education.''

Hogan may be retiring, but he said he’ll be around as education attorneys work on the latest fight for equity in Gov. Ducey’s school construction and repair funding plans.

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