Judge allows AIMS challenge to
Aug. 8, 2006
judge has refused to dismiss a legal challenge to the requirement that Arizona
high school students pass the AIMS test to graduate, setting the stage for a two-day
hearing later this month on the adequacy of funding for Arizona public schools.
The state had argued that Judge Kenneth Fields of Maricopa County Superior Court
should dismiss the case on grounds that having the dispute decided by courts
would usurp the roles of the executive and legislative branches of state
AIMS, short for Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards, is a math, reading and
writing exam. The graduation requirement took effect this year.
refusing to dismiss the challenge, Fields ruled that the challenge's claim that
the state failed to adequately fund students' education is a constitutional
question suitable for resolution by courts.
He noted that the Arizona Supreme Court issued several rulings in the 1990s on
the adequacy of Arizona's school finance system.
"Questions concerning the interpretation of the Arizona Constitution as regards
the education right in the Constitution belong to the judicial branch. It
appears that (is) what is involved in this lawsuit," Fields wrote in his July 24