Well, the official word is out on the first infusion of applications for the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (Private School Vouchers) thanks to the universal expansion passed by plutocrat Doug Ducey and his anti-public school supporters in the Arizona State Legislature.
It is not a surprise for anyone who predicted what would happen.
@azedschools estimates that approximately 75% of the universal category applicants do not have a prior record of AZ public school enrollment.
Additional information on the ESA program is available at https://t.co/S5K5pE8stO.
— Arizona Department of Education (@azedschools) August 30, 2022
Seventy-five percent of the applicants have children that have not set foot in a public school (traditional or charter.)
This confirms what many opponents of the legislation feared: that the Ducey/Republican Voucher expansion is nothing more than a tax cut for the wealthy who are taking taxpayer money from middle and working-class families to send their children to private schools (some religious; others extremist and racist) in receive a discount in tuition.
As David Lujan, the leader of the Children’s Action Alliance posted, this tax cut, may cause irreparable harm to public schools (both traditional and public) as conservative legislators are more willing to fund voucher expansion (taxpayer-funded subsidy in Lujan’s words) than fully fund public schools and remove the Aggregate Expenditure Limit.
75% of applicants for universal vouchers are not current public school families. They are current private school or homeschooled families who will now get a $7K taxpayer funded subsidy to continue their private education. And that means less revenue to fund public schools. https://t.co/6yXCbZ5ais
— David Lujan (@DavidLujan) August 31, 2022
The leading organization dedicated to stopping this latest Ducey/Republican tax cut (voucher expansion) for the wealthy from going into effect, Save our Schools Arizona also released a statement through their Statewide Outreach Director Nicky Indicavitch on social media.
Gutting my choice for my kids, our public school for this? A coupon for wealthy families that have never been in our public schools? Vouchers are a taxpayer funded grift! https://t.co/L1RUvgbNdy
— Nicky (@nickyin_) August 31, 2022
Ms. Indicavitch is right when she protests that this voucher expansion is a taxpayer-funded gift and gutting educational opportunities for her child and the other children attending a traditional or charter public school.
If you have not signed a petition to refer the initiative to the ballot to stop this unfair tax cut for the rich at the expense of middle and working-class families, please do so by September 15, 2022.
There is a major signing push and petition collection drive this Labor Day Weekend.
Please find a site near you and let’s beat back this latest attack on public schools.