District spent on desegregation without programs in place

Arizona Capitol Times
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Katie Campbell

The Roosevelt Elementary School District levied and spent $13.5 million earmarked for desegregation activities, but without operating any specific programs for that purpose, according to the an Arizona Auditor General’s Office report on the district’s spending in fiscal year 2016.

The auditor found that the district spent $13.3 million on salaries and benefits for teachers and other instructional staff, and the remaining $200,000 was spent on administration.

Under Arizona law, school districts are able to levy additional local property taxes to comply with federal court orders or agreements with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Districts are also able to budget for and receive desegregation funding even after they are found compliant and such orders have been terminated.

In the same year the Roosevelt district levied the $13.5 million, 17 other districts across the state budgeted for desegregation funding, about $211 million total.