Arizona: Vouchers Used by Students from Good Schools in Affluent Districts, Not Low-Income Students from Bad Schools

The Arizona Republic conducted an analysis to learn which students were using vouchers. Remember that vouchers are supposed to “save poor kids from failing schools.” But that is not what is happening in Arizona!

As Arizona’s school-voucher program has expanded rapidly in the past year, students using taxpayer aid to transfer from public to private schools are abandoning higher-performing districts in more-affluent areas, according to an Arizona Republic analysis.

This year, more than 75 percent of the money pulled out of public schools for the Empowerment Scholarship Account program came from districts with an “A” or “B” rating, the analysis showed. By contrast, only 4 percent of the money came from school districts rated “D” or lower.

The findings undercut a key contention of the lawmakers and advocacy groups pressing to expand the state’s ESA program: that financially disadvantaged families from struggling schools reap the benefit of expanded school choice.

Critics, meanwhile, argue the program is largely being used by more-affluent families to subsidize their private-school tuition bills. The ESA program allows parents to take 90 percent of the money that would have gone to their school district and put it toward private school, home schooling and other educational programs.

The Empowerment Scholarship Account program funding grew to approximately $49 million this year, from about $30 million last year, according to February data from the Arizona Department of Education, which oversees the program. Republicans in the Legislature are advancing bills that would expand the program from the 3,360 students currently using it to all 1.1 million Arizona public school students after four years.

The legislature pulled a fast one on taxpayers. Taxes are being used to subsidize students from affluent families at private schools, not poor kids from low-performing schools.

This is a hoax!

Hello, Arizona taxpayers! How do you feel about your taxes subsidizing the private school tuitions of rich kids?

Hello, retirees! Do you really want your taxes to be used to destroy the public education system that benefited you, your children, and your grandchildren?

Hat tip to Pat Hale for bringing this important article to my attention.

from sarah


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