Before the Arizona Legislative Session adjourned, Republicans passed, yet again, another tax cut for the rich, disguised as school choice (which everyone in the state already had,) with school voucher expansion, where Grand Canyon state residents can apply for $7,000 in public tax payer dollars through Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, to attend the private (including religious) school of their choice.

What makes this expansion more scary is the apparent lack of financial and educational performance accountability for private schools in this legislation. The public taxpayer will not know what they are paying for.

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To put in perspective, public charter schools (especially the ones that have chosen not to create dummy corporations,) have financial and academic accountability measures.

What is also apparent is that, with the average cost of private schools in Arizona being $10,255 (private high schools are just over $15,000,) most families, even with the $7,000 scholarship money, will not be able to afford to attend the private school of their choice.

As mentioned in previous articles, this legislation is nothing more than another hidden tax cut for the rich. These people will use whatever loophole and resource (including paid consultants) is available to apply for multiple scholarships to cover their child’s tuition.

Middle and working class families will mostly not have the time, access, or resources to cover the full private school tuition for their children.

The Arizona taxpayer should not have to foot the private school tuition for the state’s wealthiest.

Reacting to the passage of this legislation, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, posted on social media.

Save Our Schools Arizona issued several releases condemning the passage of the voucher expansion legislation. At a legislative recap meeting last night (June 26, 2022,) SOS Az leaders said they would review options (perhaps launching another ballot referendum like Proposition 307 for the 2024 election) and redouble efforts to support pro education candidates at the state, legislative, and school board levels.

Save Our Schools Arizona is right.

This is not over.

The people rejected vouchers before and, like Superintendent Hoffman said, they will again if presented with a choice at the ballot in 2024.

In the meantime, the voters should elect people that will fully fund all public schools and not support additional tax cuts for the rich.

 

 

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