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Legislature could take $200M from schools

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Posted at 1:10 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 15:10:38-05

Arizona school districts could lose more than $200 million a year if the Legislature passes a measure to phase out funding used to provide an equal opportunity education to minority students.

The proposal by Sen. Debbie Lesko of Peoria would dismantle desegregation funding for 18 school districts over five to ten years. Arizona school districts have budgeted about $210 million in desegregation funding every year for the last three years.

Decades ago the federal government ordered 19 school districts to end racial discrimination practices and allowed them to levy higher local property taxes to pay for the changes.

Lesko says desegregation funding is outdated and unfair for neighboring school districts.

Opponents say the measure will devastate districts that receive the funding.

A similar proposal failed last yet.