A state supreme court ruling that threw out a school funding ballot measure set for November has lit a match under an already combustible midterm election in Arizona.
The state’s high court late last month said the language of Proposition 207, which would have asked voters to provide $690 million more to schools through a tax on the state’s wealthier residents, was confusing to voters and didn’t adequately explain its fiscal impact.
Teacher activists and Democratic candidates for state office immediately pounced on the ruling as unfair and partisan. Democrats used statewide teacher walkouts this spring to bring attention to stagnated funding from the GOP-controlled legislature that they say has left schools unable to provide students with basic services.
The ruling also lit up dormant social-media pages and sparked teacher protest. “All of those days and hours getting signatures and walking to houses with my toddler and my son knocking on doors, and they’re not letting the will of the people decide,” Alexis Aguirre, an Osborn district teacher told the Arizona Republic during a protest outside the court. “They robbed us of that.”
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2018 edition of Education Week as Arizona High Court Boots Ballot Measure to Tax More-Affluent for School Funding