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Judge orders $317 million increase to Arizona school funding right away

PHOENIX — A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has ordered the state to
immediately increase funding to public schools this budget year by nearly $317

The order from Judge Katherine Cooper released Thursday formalized a ruling she
made last month requiring the state to boost funding to make up for inflation.
Cooper has set hearings for October to decide if the state must also make back
payments to schools for money it didn’t provide starting in the 2009 budget

Gov. Jan Brewer said last month an appeal was planned.

The judgment could cost more than $1.6 billion over five years. If Cooper
orders back payments the number increases to about $2.9 billion.

The state Supreme Court ruled last year that inflation adjustments are
required. Lawmakers cut them during the recession.


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