We’ve been saying for many months that THIS is the school choice moment we’ve all been waiting for. So we are standing on our desks cheering that Arizona’s legislature has passed what might be the most ambitious school choice bill in American history. The bill will allow every one of the state’s 1.1 million students to take advantage of this $6,400 education scholarship to attend a school of their choice – public, private, religious, or charter.
Kudos to GOP Governor Doug Ducey who has pushed this agenda and promises to sign the bill into law.
The Empowerment Scholarship Account program (ESA) was first passed in 2011 but has been limited to 11,800 students – the children of military families, foster care kids, and Native American students on reservations. But now any parent will be empowered to spend ESA dollars on everything from tuition for a private school to tutoring to homeschooling materials.
The expanded ESA bill passed the House 31 to 26 and the Senate by 16 to 10.
GOP Rep. Jake Hoffman said the impetus for its passage came from the “woke agenda” of many public schools as well as parents learning during the pandemic how poor the quality of public education often is. “Public sentiment against public schools hasn’t been lower than it has been now,” Hoffman said. The state is using its budget surplus money thanks to billions of dollars from Uncle Sam to expand the program. So smart. So sweet!
Kudos to our friends at ALEC, who have pushed this bill for years.