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Court says $3.5 billion can go to Arizona educators after years of legal battles

The proposition pushed by Gov. Ducey was meant to end years of legal battles surrounding funding for schools, but it itself became entrenched in litigation.

PHOENIX — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Proposition 123 on Tuesday, a law narrowly passed in 2016 that's meant to give billions in funding to public education across Arizona.

The ruling by the Ninth Circuit overturns a 2018 decision from a U.S. District Court judge who declared the law a breach of federal power.

The proposition pushed by Gov. Doug Ducey was meant to end years of legal battles surrounding funding for schools.

Ducey was elated after voters approved the deal he brokered with education groups and the legislature to pump $3.5 billion into Arizona schools over the next 10 years.

But after passing by a narrow margin, the measure itself became entrenched in years of litigation.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is the highest level of court the proposition has reached yet, and Ducey declared victory after the decision.

“Today’s decision is a victory for our public schools and students and the people of Arizona,” he said on Twitter.

“These dollars have had an immediate impact in the classroom, providing more resources for students and boosting teacher salaries across the state. They’ve helped improve our facilities and fund programs that lead to better learning outcomes, such as technology, curriculum and textbooks. This decision protects these critical resources, now and into the future.”

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