FAQ's for FUSD

Flagstaff Unified School District

As a result of Senate Bill 1529, tax payers residing within the boundaries of Flagstaff Unified School District will notice a new line item on their tax bill called SD#1 Desegregation.

What are desegregation funds?

Desegregation funds are funds used to provide equal educational opportunities to students throughout a school district where, historically, minority students of the district had access to fewer services and inadequate services because of discriminatory practices within the district. The purpose of the funds is to eliminate the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students.

Desegregation funding came about in the 1980s as a result of federal investigations at Arizona school districts that found this discrimination in the provision of services and the assignment of students and staff to schools based on their ethnicity. Eventually, at least 19 school districts entered into agreements with the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights to remedy these issues.

Why does Flagstaff need desegregation funds?

In the 1980s, FUSD was alleged to have engaged in racial discrimination in the provision of services or the assignment of students and staff to school along racial lines. Rather than go to court with the Department of Justice, FUSD entered into an agreement to remedy the discrimination.

What other districts get them, in and out of county?

In Coconino County, the only school district that receives desegregation funds is Flagstaff Unified School District. Across the State, 18 districts receive these funds.

Is this a new tax?

No, neither FUSD nor Coconino County passed any new tax. Prior to this year, Arizona law has allowed FUSD and other school districts under court order or remedial agreements with the Office of Civil Rights, to budget for the cost of remediating historical discrimination in District schools within its primary property tax, but without affecting the District’s budget limitations. Starting this year, however, because of the legislature’s passing, and the governor’s signing, of Senate Bill 1529 in May 2018, FUSD is now required to collect funds to maintain compliance with the agreement through a secondary property tax. This means that the funds have shifted from being provided by the State to being collected from Coconino County homeowners.

How is it determined who gets them?

Only those districts who were proven or alleged to have engaged in discrimination and were subject to either orders from the court or entered into remedial agreements with the federal government are allowed by Arizona law to budget school district funds toward desegregation efforts.

How are the funds used?

According to FUSD, desegregation funding at the District supports English language learners on their journey towards language proficiency. Structured English Immersion, Bilingual, and Enrichment classrooms are funded through the Desegregation program. The majority of funding provides salaries for classroom teachers, specialists, coaches, and classroom support personnel. Remaining funds provide professional development, assessment tools, and supplemental materials to support instruction and provide for classroom needs. The total annual funding for the Desegregation program amounts to $2,241,322.

For additional information, please contact Scott Walmer, FUSD Director of Finance, at (928) 527-6044 or swalmer@fusd1.org.