This week a number of bills will be heard in the State Senate that would once again drain more money from our public district and charter schools. I’ve provided a link to the Save Our Schools newsletter where you can learn more about those specific bills and what you can do. You’ll find it at the end of this article.
Meanwhile, here’s my position on ESA’s/Vouchers:
Our state has a constitutional as well as moral obligation to provide every child with a quality public education. It’s also in our own best interest. So, I supported the original intent of ESA’s to provide for children with extraordinary needs for which public schools are not adequately funded.
However, I strongly OPPOSE the EXPANSION of ESA’s/Vouchers. That’s because some legislators have hijacked ESA/vouchers for their own agenda: to undercut our public schools and privatize education.
Despite those efforts, the families of almost 90% of Arizona’s children still choose public schools for many reasons. They provide a vital center for our communities, important electives and extracurricular activities that build well-rounded people, and a great education from well-qualified, caring teachers.
Because our legislature has diverted so many millions of our tax dollars to private schools, we now face a severe teacher shortage, crumbling buildings, and inadequate resources.
That’s why voters passed Prop 208 – to better fund our schools and incentivize teachers to stay in Arizona. But as fast as Arizonans’ vote to put money into the bucket for public schools, legislators continue to drill holes in the bottom, draining as many of our tax dollars as they can to private schools. They’re doing it again this coming week.
I will oppose bills that would expand ESA vouchers, and I hope you will, too. We must invest in public schools so that we we can ensure that every student gets the quality education they deserve. Check out the Save Our Schools Weekly Education Report to learn about this week’s bills and how you can make a difference by contacting your legislators.