Deal on charter schools holding back budget talks - East Valley Tribune: Politics

Deal on charter schools holding back budget talks

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Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 10:20 am

Arizona House legislators say one of the biggest issues stalling budget talks is a Senate-approved ban on public schools converting to charter schools.

A provision in the Senate- passed budget being considered by the House Monday would retroactively ban public school districts from converting schools to charter schools. Charters get more funding.

And Democrats say a last-minute bill introduced by Senate President Andy Biggs of Gilbert is a political ploy to push the few Republicans who oppose his budget proposal to vote in favor it.

Biggs introduced Senate Bill 1494 just minutes before the House was scheduled to begin debate on the budget. The bill would require school districts to establish an independent board that would run a district charter school and would ban district charter schools from accessing bonds and overrides.

Some Republicans say they are closing a loophole that school districts abuse and that costs the state too much money.

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