Phoenix, Arizona - Attorney General Mark Brnovich's recently filed a reply brief in the Arizona Supreme Court in the lawsuit challenging the Arizona Board of Regents’ (ABOR) tuition-setting policies. The filing sets forth why ABOR’s tuition and fee setting practices are unconstitutional and require judicial review.
ABOR continues to misdirect scrutiny of its actions and seeks to avoid accountability for its unlawful tuition-and-fee-related actions.
“ABOR seeks to avoid accountability for its conduct by refusing to defend its actions and ignoring the merits of the State’s claims,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “The fact remains skyrocketing tuition at our state universities has made it harder for Arizona students and families to afford college."
ABOR has established tuition-and-fee-setting policies and practices that ignore its constitutional and statutory mandate to provide affordable public higher education for the people of Arizona.
Over the last 16 years, ABOR has set in-state tuition at Arizona’s public universities without even considering the actual cost of furnishing instruction, which the Arizona Constitution requires. Instead, ABOR has justified one cost-increase after the next by using factors such as tuition and fees charged at peer universities, Arizona’s family income levels, and the availability of student loans. Not surprisingly, over the same period of time, Arizona’s public universities went from among the least expensive in the country to among the most expensive (from bottom third in cost to nearly top quarter in cost). ABOR has increased the prices at all three state universities in lock-step, with tuition increasing over the past 16 years by more than 300%, and prevented many Arizona students from accessing more affordable options.
The Arizona Supreme Court stated that it would consider this petition in due course. The State also has a pending appeal at the Arizona Court of Appeals, in which the Court ordered oral argument later this Spring or Summer.