Arizona Schools

Arizona Implements ‘Gold Standard’ of School Choice Policy

The idea is simple. Redirect education funds away from institutions and allow students and parents to fund their education as they see fit. It makes perfect sense and would have already been massively adopted based on phenomenal successes if it weren’t for the extremely powerful teachers’ unions and their Democrat puppet lawmakers.

But Arizona is bucking the trend, taking a program that has been around in limited fashion for over a decade and expanding it to ALL students in the state. According to the Goldwater Institute:

The Arizona legislature has unveiled an ambitious plan to put K-12 students and parents first. Sponsored by House Majority Leader Ben Toma, and co-sponsored by over two dozen of his peers, HB 2853 would open the doors to educational opportunity for kids throughout the Grand Canyon State.

Watch National Director of Research at the American Federation for Children Corey A. DeAngelis discuss it on Fox News:

Arizona Mirror reported some of the details:

ESA dollars can be spent on anything a student needs, from tuition for a private school to tutoring or to homeschooling materials.

“If you are a millionaire or a billionaire and your kid goes to private school today, you will now receive a check to subsidize them,” Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Laveen, said. “We have one of the lowest per-pupil funding ratios in this country, and what we chose to do is to make it even worse by taking more resources out of our general fund.”

Voters could have the final say on the fate of HB2853: Save Our Schools Arizona has said it will launch a referendum campaign to repeal the expansion, if it becomes law. If the group can collect enough signatures within 90 days of the end of the legislative session, the ESA expansion wouldn’t go into effect unless voters approved it in 2024.

“The House’s passage of voter-rejected universal ESA vouchers underscores the Republican majority’s utter disregard for AZ voters,” Beth Lewis, the executive director of Save Our Schools Arizona, a group that was formed to fight expansions to the ESA program, said in a statement to the Mirror. “They are bought and sold by special interests who do not have our children’s interests at heart.”

In 2017, Save Our Schools Arizona successfully referred a different ESA expansion to the ballot, and voters in 2018 overwhelmingly rejected the voucher program.

Patriots in Arizona need to defend this program, and so should those of us in other states. We’ve long said this would work. Let’s make sure the left doesn’t sabotage it before it proves its efficacy.