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Updated Jan 15, 2013 - 2:35 pm

Lawmakers must fund schools for inflation

PHOENIX -- An appeals court ruling said the Arizona Legislature must give schools an annual boost in funding to cover inflation, even when it is wrestling with a shortage of cash.

Tuesday's ruling means schools which have lost more than $250 million in inflation adjustments in the past three budget years should begin seeing those yearly increases again. The Arizona Attorney General's office said it plans to file an appeal.

The increases are required under a proposition approved by voters in 2000. The Legislature went along with this until a cash crunch caused lawmakers to look at the law's language in 2010 and they decided they could only fund part of the increase.

Leaders of the Senate and House appropriations committees said the ruling means other priorities won't get the money.

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