In 2018, more than one million Arizona voters said NO to expansion of private school vouchers (AKA empowerment scholarships). That inconvenient truth means nothing to Arizona Republicans. They get their marching orders from right wing “think tanks” like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Rep. Shawnna Bolick’s strike everything amendment to HB2803 is ALEC model legislation.
SB1280 is another massive, strike everything, right-wing model bill proposed by Rep. Shawnna Bolick. What else would we hear in the last week of committees? There are dozens of terrible bills including several strike-everything’s in committees this week. I was not kidding when I told people over the weekend in Tucson that many of us have PTSI from the horrible bills that are passing the legislature all too often on bipartisan votes.￼
SB1280 appropriates $10 million in grants to privatize school transportation. This is a horrible Koch Brothers model bill that leaves our young children vulnerable in the name of privatization. It is on the agenda for Ways and Means on Wednesday.
In 2018, 60% of voters — 1.5 million people — said “no” expansion of the Empowerment Scholarship Awards (ESA) at the ballot box. In 2020, 1.7 million voters said “yes” to Prop 208, which provides dedicated funding for public education by requiring Arizona’s 1% to pay their fair share toward public education. Ever since that November 2020 vote, republican legislators have been on a path to neutralize prop 208 and featherbed Arizona’s wealthiest residents.￼
Today in Ways and Means, we debated SB1452, yet another attack on public education. SB1452 Is another dramatic expansion of the Empowerment Scholarship Awards program. It would triple the number of students available to receive an ESA but does not give a dime to the department of education to run a dramatically expanded program.￼ Yes, you heard that right. Republicans are pushing for a bill that goes against the will of the voters in 2018.