Bill Would Expand School Vouchers In Arizona

By  Stina Sieg
Published: Monday, February 22, 2016 - 6:27pm
Updated: Monday, February 22, 2016 - 9:19pm

All public school students in Arizona would be eligible to use public cash to attend private school, if a new bill makes it through the Arizona Legislature. The state Senate voted Monday to vastly expand school vouchers.

When the Empowerment Scholarship Account program began in 2011, it provided money to a small segment of school-age children. But it’s been expanding ever since. Andrew Morrill is president of the Arizona Education Association, which opposes this effort.

"The deeper waters are, to move public, tax-payer money into corporate and private structures," he said. "There’s profit to be made in these schools, and you can’t trace these public dollars once they’re gone from the public eye."

Morrill added these vouchers are expensive, and that it’s impossible to know whether they actually help kids, because they don’t participate in state testing once they enroll in private school.

Supporters of this bill, however, argue this legislation is needed. They say it’s currently too difficult to obtain vouchers.

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