SOS Arizona Collects 100,000+ Signatures to Stop Voucher Law

A plan by Gov. Ducey and the AZ Legislature to undermine public schools with a voucher program will be put on hold, thanks to Save Our Schools Arizona.

Thousands of parents and other volunteers collected more than 100,000 signatures to halt the law, which puts taxpayer money into private and religious schools.

According to AZCentral.com:

That’s enough to put the law on hold while the secretary of state determines whether the group has the 75,321 valid signatures needed to force a public vote on the law in November 2018.

The signature-vetting process will take nearly two months.

“Based on the committee’s forecast of how many signatures it has turned into the secretary of state, that is normally going to be sufficient to suspend the operation of the law,” says state Elections Director Eric Spencer.

The fate of the voucher law may now go before voters in a referendum that can take place in November.

SOS Arizona correctly argues that taxpayer funds should pay for public district schools, and not fund scholarships for wealthier people who can afford private schools.

“The power of the people is stronger than money,” said Melinda Iyer, a member of Save Our Schools. “Education is the great equalizer. It’s the bootstraps that people pull themselves up by.”

Volunteers braved the blazing Arizona summer to collect signatures for months, and in recent days vetted signatures to be sure they met the new “strict compliance” standard for public initiatives.

“It was the right issue, and the right time, and now here we are making history together. Watch the news Tuesday night to learn our final count!” SOS Arizona said in an email. “Whether you filled out 1 petition or 160, whether you donated $5 or $500, you can rest easy today knowing that your work–this summer and in the year to come–will preserve the future of public education in our state.”

6 Responses to SOS Arizona Collects 100,000+ Signatures to Stop Voucher Law

  1. Remember the multi-year bid by the Public Integrity Alliance to have state and federal courts declare the City of Tucson’s election system was unconstitutional? http://blogforarizona.net/scotus-upholds-tucson-city-council-election-system/

    These right-wing provacateurs are baaaack!

    The Public Integrity Alliance last Wednesday claimed that Glendale Elementary School District personnel and Save Our Schools Arizona violated rules regarding the use of public resources to influence political campaigns. http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/08/02/non-profit-alleges-campaign-volunteers-school-district-violated-election-laws/

    The complaint, which was written by the group’s president, Tyler Montague, to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, alleged the campaign’s chairwoman, Beth Lewis, assisted Jim Cummings, the district’s director of communications, in violating the law.

    Montague is seeking “restitution to the taxpayers and the imposition of civil penalties” for Cummings’ compensation at the time the violations are said to have occurred and the potential use of district assets by SOS Arizona. No specific dollar figures were recommended.

    Public Integrity Alliance is represented by the AZ GOP’s go-to lawyer, Kory Langhofer. Yeah, no coordination there.

  2. John Huppenthal

    ALEC won’t do anything with this petition.

    What we know about petitions like this was revealed when one state-wide petition organizer ran for the State Senate and was convicted of forgery on his petition, forging 800 of the 1400 signatures on his petition.

    When was he more likely to commit forgery? When he needed 800 signatures or when he needed 170,000?

    That’s what the money was likely all about, hiring a forgery mill.

  3. they should send a letter to everyone who signed the petition letting them know they may have to sign one or more petitions to stop the game playing. let the doters know whats going on.

  4. Frances Perkins

    Of course ALEC and their pawns in the legislature will play a million games with this petition. They will try to get it invalidated. They will challenge it in court. They will repeal and replace it so they can get around the referendum. One thing they WILL NOT have the courage to do, is put it straight on a Statewide ballot, “Should the State constitution be amended to allow public money to be spent directly or indirectly, on private, religious schools, and will you support a dedicated tax increase to pay for it.” Every other state where this has been tried directly has defeated it, including a DeVos funded effort in Michigan.

  5. Good job.

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