Arizona Republicans Pass Huge School Choice Bill
The bill passed by the Arizona House and Senate would expand ESA scholarships to ALL children. The Governor needs to sign it for it to become law.
Governor Ducey contact details
Although we are in the middle of the summer holidays, which is holiday time for teachers, it is a safe bet that teachers unions are heavily pressuring the Governor to not sign the bill. You can contact Doug Ducey here. His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill would help level the playing field
Arizona Republicans passed House Bill HB2583 in the House and the Senate. The bill has been sent to Governor Doug Ducey for signature. The bill expands so called Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) to ALL students. So far such accounts where only available to special needs students, those living on Indian land, and the children of members of the military.
Although Democrats typically love to hand out money, this is different because it runs directly against the wishes of their teachers union masters, who hate competition, school choice and parental control.
The measure is more or less budget neutral because when students leave the public school system, public schools lose some of their funding. This money is instead given to the parents directly. Parents are hence put in control.
ESA accounts are worth about $7,000 per year and can be used for a wide range of educational expenses, from private schools to tutoring.
The Chandler Unified School District, CUSD80, has a budget of about $15,000 per student, so the new bill does not entirely level the playing field between government run public schools and private schools, but it does tilt it a little bit more in favor of parents. Critically, the money is put in the hands of the parents, who hence hold the purse strings, allowing them to exert more control over the education of their children.
Public School districts have let children and parents down
In public schools parents have very little control. If they home school or private school, they still have to pay property taxes, which are enforced, ultimately, by men with guns. Public schools have come under massive fire in recent years for teaching extreme ideologies based on critical race and gender theories. In some districts boys can go to girls bathrooms if they identify as girls themselves. There have been incidences where districts punished students for not using the preferred pronouns of transgender students. Every public school in America shut its doors during the Covid panic. Teachers unions had lobbied the CDC to recommend this, demonstrating their tremendous political power as part owners of the Democratic Party. Some school districts in the nation still mandate masks for students today, despite clear evidence that they do not protect from Covid. CUSD80 staff often still wear masks, despite being outside, socially distanced. Some school district also mandate Covid vaccinations for students. Arizona school districts are prevented from doing so due to an executive order from the Governor.
CUSD80, like many other districts, has an equity and inclusion director who appears to be paid to push racialization in public schools. Board member Lindsay Love is considered by many to be a cringe fringe political extremist who makes everything about race, gender and sexual orientation, claiming oppression and on occasion attacking white parents, as well as black parents who don't buy into the race baiting. The district recently started offering courses called "African American Experience" and "Mexican American Experience". Sources we spoke with voiced concerns that these are really just racial grievance studies courses that have no place in schools.