Navajo Nation Council Unanimously Votes to Support Prop 123

Feb 15, 2016

Arizona voters will go to the polls this spring to decide on Proposition 123. It settles a long-running lawsuit over school funding in the state, and the Navajo Nation Council has announced its unanimous support of the measure. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates
Credit Jon Austria/The Daily Times

The council says Prop 123 will benefit students statewide, including those on the Navajo Nation. Governor Doug Ducey’s office estimates it’ll add $3.5 billion to schools over the next decade, with more than $5 million going to schools within and near the Navajo Nation.

Supporters of Prop 123 include Republican lawmakers, Arizona Education Association President Andrew Morrill, and several business groups.

The measure is the result of an agreement between the state legislature and school officials, and draws additional funds from the state’s trust lands. Education officials sued the state in 2010, and said during the recession lawmakers illegally denied funds to education.

State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt is an outspoken opponent of the measure. He says it’s not financially sound, and the plan could result in less funding for schools in the long term.

Voters will decide on Prop 123 in a special election May 17.