THIS WEEKEND: Help Save Our Schools Stop Voucher Expansion
As the 2022 Legislative session ended, lawmakers passed a massive expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA Vouchers). ESA Vouchers take funds that would have gone to public schools and gives parents who opt out of those schools a debit card that can be used to pay for educational expenses including private or religious school tuition, homeschool expenses, tutoring, online classes, education supplies and fees.
A previous attempt at expansion of these vouchers was overwhelmingly rejected by AZ voters in 2018, with the clear mandate for the Legislature to provide adequate funding for Arizona’s public schools instead. This session, majority lawmakers again defied the will of voters and brought the program back, with no cap and no accountability. This means taxpayer funds will be siphoned away from public schools and into the hands of private entities setting up schools with no requirements for teacher credentials or safety standards, no oversight of academic standards, and little to no visibility of how public funds will be spent. Our friends at Save Our Schools Arizona have launched a massive petition drive to reject HB2853, Universal Voucher Expansion.
Universal ESA vouchers are likely to siphon hundreds of millions from our public schools if we allow this law to go into effect. All 85,000 current private school and homeschool students will be eligible for a $7,000 voucher on Sept. 24 if SOSAZ does not turn in 118,823 valid signatures – meaning a potential $600M cut to our general fund overnight. And that is just the first cut.
We are asking each of you to get involved, and to do your part to protect public education in this state:
- Find a spot to sign at this weekend’s
- Grab a petition or two for friends & family to fill out at any of these events OR a
- Sign up to volunteer as a circulator, notary, driver, verifier & more:
Find more information, training, FAQs, and more here: teamsosarizona.com/info
We cannot underscore this enough - universal vouchers mean the dismantling of public schools as we know them in our state. Thank you for joining the fight to protect AZ's children.