$125K Audit Will Look Into Arizona School Voucher Delays

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 9:26am
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 10:55am

Arizona Department of Education building
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
Arizona Department of Education building.

Arizona lawmakers plan to spend at least $125,000 to learn why parents are forced to wait to receive state-funded vouchers for private and parochial schools.

Parents' complaints of long waits and unanswered phone calls have prompted the formal audit into the Arizona Department of Education's process.

The idea of waiting for a full audit to explain the issue in six months has its critics.

"I could do this in a 2 1/2-hour committee, achieve 95 to 100% of the goals of this audit," said Republican Rep. John Allen. "I could do it with public rebuke or input to things that the department say. We can delve into the issues."

But, other GOP members said an independent audit will bypass political partisanship since the state Superintendent Kathy Hoffman is a Democrat and a critic of the state voucher system.

She has not denied there is a backlog, but even her Republican predecessor, Diane Douglas, complained the GOP-controlled Legislature has not provided sufficient funding to run the program.

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