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What you need to know about Prop 123

Posted On: 2016-03-29 09:41 AM

For a PDF download of the information below, please click here.

Proposition 123


The Facts

Prop 123 adds education funding over 10 years to K-12 students and settles a lawsuit on K-12 funding between the legislature and public schools. The settlement includes money from the general fund and increased distributions from the State Trust Land, which exists to support public education.

If Prop 123 Passes

  • Schools will receive additional funding for the current 2015-16 school year, beginning June 2016.
  • The increased trust distribution ends in ten years.
  • Inflation funding continues in perpetuity.
  • $625 million will be paid in additional funds over the next 10 years.
  • The settlement will have constitutional protection.

If Prop 123 Fails

  • No additional funding, and the lawsuit resumes.
  • Schools will lose their portion of the $74 million that was allocated as additional funding for fiscal year 2015-16, unless the legislature acts.
  • No guarantee exists that a future Arizona Supreme Court will set the base level at a specific amount or award any back pay.
  • The State Trust Land distributions will stay at currently approved levels.

Potential Questions

Q: How can Prop 123 money be used?
A: No policy strings or specific requirements placed on the money so the funds can be spent on compensation for teachers; professional development; technology; etc. as locally decided.

Q: Why a special election?
A: The legislature called a special election to provide constitutional protection to this proposed settlement. Voters are required to approve any distribution changes from the State Trust Land.

Q: What is the State Trust Land and how can the money be used?
A: The money the state earns from the sale of State Trust Lands is a right granted from the federal government in 1912. Public education is by far the largest beneficiary of Trust Land managed by the Arizona State Land Department, with the current value of land in the trust estimated at $70 billion.

Voter Information

The last day to register to vote for the Proposition 123 special election is April 19, 2016. The special election is on May 17, 2016 with early ballots mailed out April 20, 2016.

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