Reprinted from Save Our Schools Arizona PAC.
In November, voters will have the chance to VOTE NO on Prop 305, the universal expansion of Arizona’s ESA voucher program.
So, what is an ESA? ESA stands for Empowerment Scholarship Account, which is a deceptive word for voucher. Vouchers were ruled unconstitutional in Arizona in 2006 because they divert public money to private schools. So ESAs were created as a loophole.
Here’s a short video showing why we want a NO vote on Prop 305.
Cross posted from RestoreReason.com.
I wasn’t surprised by The Republic’s recent findings that during the 2015-16 school year, the vast majority of funding ($20.6 million) for vouchers was taken from public schools rated A or B, but only $6.3 million was taken from schools rated C or D. I’d previously seen a statistic that in 2012, about 92 percent of students taking advantage of the voucher (Empowerment Scholarship Account) program would have attended private schools anyway regardless of voucher availability. Let’s face it; this was never about helping the poor, disadvantaged minority child. The reality is that vouchers were never for poorer Arizonans who can’t cover the average private-school tuition costs of $10,421 when a voucher provides only $5,200.
And yet, the AZ Legislature is pushing two bills to fully open the floodgates on voucher availability, making every student in Arizona eligible for vouchers for homeschooling, tutoring, private school, or to save for college. This, despite the fact that there is little accountability in the program. Yes, recipients must provide quarterly reports of their spending, but DOE staffing for oversight is reportedly insufficient and the schooling options that vouchers pay for have no responsibility for reporting any kind of results. The taxpayer then, has no way to determine return on investment.
Here’s where I start to get confused. The GOP nay, Teapublican-led Arizona Legislature, loves to tout the need for accountability of taxpayer dollars. They are great however, at picking and choosing their targets for applying this accountability. [Please read on, this post isn’t really all about vouchers.] Continue reading
Posted in Budgets, Civil Rights, Education, Legislation, Taxes
Tagged Arizona Legislature, discrimination, empowerment scholarship accounts, ESAs, Finchem, Leach, Lesko, private school, PUHSD, TUSD, vouchers