Arizona Lawmakers Debate Phase-Out Of School Desegregation Money

By Mark Brodie, Steve Goldstein
Published: Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 4:37pm
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Arizona lawmakers are debating twin bills in the House and Senate that would phase out desegregation funding to the 19 school districts that get it.

The money is used for providing equal opportunity education for low-income and minority students. Districts are allowed to increase property taxes to raise the money. State Senator Debbie Lesko is the sponsor of her chamber’s version of the measure.

One of the districts is the Phoenix Union High School District. It had been under a court order, but in 2005, moved to unitary status, meaning a judge found the district was doing OK with its equal opportunity efforts. But if it got less money, the court may have to revisit the issue.

Chad Geston, superintendent of the Phoenix Union High School District spoke about the issue.

There are 19 districts in the state that currently get desegregation money. Jeanne Powers, associate professor in the Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, spoke about what the changes could mean.

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