In 2000, the federal court had ruled that the legislature needed to come up with a plan to adequately fund such programs. On April 25, 2006, Judge Collins ruled that the law didn’t bear a “rational relationship to the cost of providing ELL programs,” according to court documents.
Last July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, overturned the April 25 ruling and required the district judge to hold an “evidentiary hearing” on the matter.
Judge Collins, of Tucson, held an eight-day hearing in January, but in his March 22 ruling came to the same conclusion as he had earlier—that the law that increases to $444 from $365 the extra funds that schools get to teach each English-language learner is not adequate.
The legislature intends to appeal, said Barrett Marson, the press secretary for James P. Weiers, a Republican and the speaker of the Arizona House.
A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2007 edition of Education Week