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Legal wrangling begins on Prop. 123

Backed by supporters of Propositions 123 and 124 on May 26, Secretary of State Michele Reagan (L) Gov. Doug Ducey (C) and Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick (R) certify results of a May 17 special election.

Backed by supporters of Propositions 123 and 124 on May 26, Secretary of State Michele Reagan (L) Gov. Doug Ducey (C) and Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick (R) certify results of a May 17 special election.

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan has officially certified the results of a special election on school funding and police and fire pension measures.

The May 26 formal canvass of the election results verifies victories for propositions 123 and 124 and Gov. Doug Ducey hailed the wins.

But that doesnai??i??t mean the battle over the school funding measure is over. A federal lawsuit has already been filed challenging it and state Treasurer Jeff DeWit has asked the attorney general for an opinion as to whether its use of state trust land cash is legal.

Proposition 123 will boost funding for K-12 schools in large part by tapping the state land trust to help add $3.5 billion in new spending over 10 years. It narrowly passed with less than 51 percent of the vote.

Proposition 124 lowered cost-of-living adjustments for police and fire pensions and will help the underfunded pension plan become solvent over the coming 20 years. It passed with more than 70 percent of the vote.

Exactly how the money from Prop. 123 will be used remains uncertain.Ai?? Before the election, some Arizona teachers said they want the money to be used to increase teacher pay, but the stateai??i??s two major teacher associations disagree over how the money should be spent.

ai???It would be great to get a raise in the short term,ai??? said Mary Saraceni, who has taught in the Tucson Unified School District for 26 years. But the money is not enough to help students ai??i?? and their teachers ai??i?? in the long run, she said. ai???Schools are in a world of hurt in Arizona and we need some permanent funding to make teachers of children a priority in the state.ai???

The Arizona Federation of Teachers opposed the education funding measure because it says low-income schools will not get a fair share of the money. The larger Arizona Education Association said it will improve teacher salaries, support all-day kindergarten and help pay for textbooks and technology.

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