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Terry Goddard Issues Opinion on Schools Funding

(Phoenix, Ariz. – March 5, 2007) Attorney General Terry Goddard today issued an opinion stating school districts and charter schools could use money appropriated by the Arizona Legislature to cover any salary and benefit increases for non-administrative personnel in fiscal year 2006-2007, including increases negotiated before the appropriation bill was enacted.

Last June the Arizona Legislature adopted, and the Governor signed, legislation (HB2874) appropriating $100 million for salary and benefit increases for school district and charter school non-administrative personnel in fiscal year 2006-2007. Because Arizona law requires school districts and charter schools to issue contracts to teachers by May 15, many districts and schools had finalized their contracts before the legislation was enacted.

Goddard was asked whether the appropriated funds applied to all salary and benefit increases over 2005-2006 levels, or only to increases negotiated after the enactment of HB2874.

Goddard concluded that the plain language of the law authorized school districts and charter schools to use the funds for any salary and benefit increases over the 20052006 compensation levels, including increases in contracts that were finalized before HB2874 was enacted.

A copy of the opinion can be found here.

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