House panel refuses to order desegregation spending audits - News, Weather & Sports


House panel refuses to order desegregation spending audits


An Arizona House panel has shut down an effort to require expensive audits of desegregation spending in the Tucson and Phoenix unified school districts.

Rep. Mark Finchem says his proposal was prompted by "whistleblowers" who told him that Tucson in particular was misusing some of its $64 million in yearly desegregation cash.

But the Appropriations Committee shelved the Oro Valley Republican's plan late Wednesday after the district superintendents testified that they are already extensively audited.

Tucson Superintendent H.T. Sanchez says the district spending is under federal oversight and audited under supervision of plaintiffs in a 40-year-old federal case, a federal judge and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The forensic audits would have cost the districts an estimated $500,000 each. Failure to comply would have frozen all their desegregation funds.

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