The Arizona Capitol Times reported Voucher vote creates dilemma for school-choice supporters:
If voters approve the voucher expansion law in November, many believe those changes would be locked in under the Voter Protection Act.
A “yes” on Prop. 305 would keep SB1431, (the “vouchers on steroids” bill), in place as approved by the Legislature in 2017.
That means modifying the statute in the future would be incredibly difficult, and that is where the problem lies for the school-choice crowd.
Indeed, the prospect of locking that law in place has been enough to give even the staunchest supporters of Empower Scholarship Accounts pause.
“If Prop. 305 passes, it could hinder our ability to make crucial improvements to the ESA program,” said Kim Martinez, a spokeswoman for the pro-voucher American Federation for Children.
Laurie Roberts of The Republic expands upon this in Dark money groups’ stand on Prop. 305 shows the public got played on voucher expansion:
Here’s a curious and rather enlightening development.
The “dark money” groups that spent big bucks to get a Legislature willing to vote for a massive expansion of Arizona’s school-voucher program are not going to campaign to try to save their crowning achievement.
The Republic’s Rob O’Dell and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez are reporting that the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity will sit out Proposition 305. Meanwhile, the Betsy DeVos-created American Federation for Children actually will urge people to vote no.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Budgets, Campaigns, Constitution, Corruption, Education, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Legislation, Party Politics, Propositions, Religion, Scandals, Taxes
Tagged privatization, public education, referendum, vouchers
Thursday was the filing deadline for citizens initiatives. Several hot-button initiatives were filed. If they survive signature verification and the inevitable lawsuits from well-funded special interest opponents, this year’s fall campaign will be dominated by a flood of “dark money” negative advertisements from corporate special interests and the Chambers of Commerce. Their privileged plutocrat attitude is that “We own this state! Who are the unwashed masses to tell us what we can do? You will obey!”
The AP reports, Arizona ballot initiatives focus on energy, school funding:
Thursday was the deadline for proposed ballot initiatives to file the hundreds of thousands signatures necessary to put a question on the ballot. Three groups of organizers trucked boxes full of petitions to the state Capitol.
The signatures still have to processed and verified. The Arizona Secretary of State’s office has 20 days to complete petition processing. Then counties have 15 days to verify signatures, followed by another three days for the Secretary of State to determine if the initiative qualifies.
Followed by the inevitable lawsuits from well-funded special interest opponents.
Posted in Activism, Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Campaigns, Constitution, Courts, Economics, Education, Election Integrity, Elections, environment, Ethics, GOP War On..., Infrastructure, Legislation, Propositions, Taxes
Tagged Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Initiative, Invest in Ed Ballot Initiative, Outlaw Dirty Money, vouchers
“School Choice in Arizona: Privatization, Charter Schools, and Vouchers”
Saturday, June 9, 2018 (11:00AM – 12:30PM)
Joel D Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Avenue
“Join us for a FRANK Talk about school choice.
Arizona is one of the nation’s most “choice friendly” states regarding educational opportunities at the K-12 level.School choice is a term for K–12 public education options in the U.S. describing a wide array of programs offering students and their families alternatives to public schools, that students are usually assigned to based on where their family lives.
The legislature approved Arizona’s charter school law in 1994 and currently Arizona has over 540 charter schools with more than 180,000 students. Since then the expansion of charter schools and vouchers (often called educational savings accounts) is not without controversy. Does school choice improve school quality? Does school choice increase educational opportunity for all students? Has school choice fostered the privatization of education in the U.S.? Join us for a FRANK talk about the policy and practical implications of school choice.
This community conversation is facilitated by Dr. Angelina Castagno, Northern Arizona University, Educational Foundations.
FRANK Talks are sponsored by Arizona Humanities.
Posted in Carolyn Classen, Community, Education, Tucson
Tagged Angelina Castagno, Arizona Humanities, charter schools, Frank Talks, Joel D. Valdez Main Library, K-12 public education, privatization, school choice, vouchers
The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled Voters can decide whether to keep school-voucher expansion:
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that voters get to have a say on Proposition 305, a ballot initiative that asks if they want to keep or do away with an expansion of the state’s school voucher-style program.
The Empowerment Scholarship Account program currently allows only certain students to apply for the program, including special-needs students and those from poor-performing schools. The program gives parents public money and allows them to spend it on private school tuition, educational materials and therapies.
Last year, Gov. Doug Ducey and Republican lawmakers narrowly passed legislation (the “vouchers on steroids” bill) to expand eligibility to all 1.1 million public students but capping the program at about 30,000.
A mostly grassroots group of parents and public-education advocates called Save Our Schools Arizona collected enough signatures to refer the expansion to the November 2018 ballot.
But supporters of the expansion — the “Kochtopus” and their Tea-Publican lackeys in the legislature — waged a legal battle to try to keep the initiative off the November ballot.
The decision from the high court deals a final court blow to those supporters and upholds a lower court decision.
Posted in Activism, Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Budgets, Campaigns, Constitution, Courts, Economics, Education, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Governor, Legislation, Party Politics, Propositions
Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.
An article titled, “Proposed GI Bill Model For K–12 Schools Would Impact Arizona Education Funding” by Claire Caufield on KZJJ.org recently caught my attention. Ah…coming to a state near us I thought, the latest school privatization effort to be shoved down our throats. Evidently, the conservative Heritage Foundation has written policy that would make all children of active-duty military members eligible to receive education savings accounts (ESAs) to attend private schools. These ESA would provide “from $2,500 to $4,500 annually to help parents send their child to a private or online school or to pay for tutoring and special education services.”
The idea of ESAs for military children is not new, we already have that in Arizona. What is new, is that the proposal calls for the funding to come from Impact Aid, a fund established by Congress in 1950 to assist districts with the cost of educating children who live on federal lands, and therefore don’t pay local taxes that support the districts. “Today, Impact Aid is disbursed to schools connected to tribal lands, military bases, low-rent housing and other federal properties.”
“Because of the state’s high number of students on tribal lands, Arizona districts received $169 million last year in Impact Aid, the highest total in the country. Over $11 million was for children of military and uniformed services families, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education.” Continue reading