AZ House passes school voucher expansion

June 05, 2013

The Arizona House passed an expansion of a small school voucher program that could greatly increase the number of children allowed to use public funds to attend a private school.

The program was established by the Legislature in 2011. Only students with a disability, whose parents are in the military or attend very low-performing schools qualify. The legality of the voucher program is being challenged in court.

“They may have all these people starting to rely on scholarships, only to find in the middle of the year the court says it's unconstitutional. Then they will have switched again," said Don Peters, who represents the challengers in court.

The new bill adds kindergartners and also increases funding for students who leave charter schools for private schools. Just 130 students got the vouchers in 2012 but as many as 5,400 new students a year could qualify if it’s signed into law.

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