Group Tries to Halt Expansion of Arizona’s ESA Program

Published May 9, 2017

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Arizona families scored a huge win in April when the legislature voted to expand the state’s education savings account program. Now, the group “Save Our Schools Arizona” is trying to make sure families who want a choice in how and where their children are educated don’t get one. AZCentral reports:

The expansion of the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program, signed into law last month by Gov. Doug Ducey, opens ESAs to all public- and charter-school students. Up to 30,000 parents could use the new program by 2022. It’s scheduled to take effect 90 days after the state Legislature adjourns.

ESAs had been limited to certain children, including those with disabilities and those from poor-performing schools.

Save Our Schools Arizona was formed by women upset by the expansion of the ESA program, which they say could dismantle public education. They also say it disproportionately benefits wealthy families who might otherwise afford private-school tuition without taxpayer aid.

The referendum aims to let the public decide to either uphold or overturn the school-voucher expansion. The committee will have 90 days to collect about 75,000 valid signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

I’ve asked this question many times but have yet to receive an answer from the pro-public school people: If your schools are so great, why are you afraid the ESA program “could dismantle public education”? Of course we know the answer, and I sense the public school toadies are fighting a losing battle.



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