BLOG / July 31, 2023

Vouchers: ½ of K12 funding for 8% of students

By TJ Hernandez


Voucher program gets worse…and worse…and worse

  • Discrimination. Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has issued a warning to families that accepting a voucher means losing your rights to protections against discrimination. Under Arizona law, private schools are enabled to discriminate against students and families based on religion, learning ability, and sexual orientation. And, private schools are not required to adhere to federal disability protections for students. 
  • Lack of security. A recent data breach of the program’s claims-processing system, followed by resignations of senior staff, have prompted Gov. Hobbs to ask Supt. Tom Horne for his plan to protect the privacy of students receiving vouchers.
  • The program is “unsustainable” with projections indicating that the near $1B cost for 2024 will leave Arizona with a $320M budget shortfall that could bankrupt our state and force cuts to other needed programs. According to Hobbs, the program’s expansion, passed by Republican lawmakers last year, accounts for over one half of the state’s K12 funding while benefiting only 8% of students — truly astounding numbers! 

Youth voters are showing up! A new study shows that young voters from ages 18-29 are the most engaged in generations. Limits on abortion access and the rising cost of living were key turnout drivers for the youth vote in the 2022 election. As extremist lawmakers push attacks on our rights while refusing to deliver real solutions as Arizonans struggle to pay their bills, it’s no surprise that young voters are showing up to the polls to demand better!

Is the #AZLEG session almost over? After over 200 days in session, including multiple prolonged breaks, rumor has it the Arizona Legislature plans to adjourn for the year next week. But first, lawmakers are hoping to cut a deal on Prop 400, the transportation tax extension, before closing the session. Anything can happen at the #AZLEG, so stay tuned for updates!

Sinema dodges questions. Local reporter Brahm Resnik asked Kyrsten Sinema about her recent proposal to reduce training requirements for airline pilots, despite safety concerns, after taking hundreds of thousands from the airline industry. Sinema is evasive and refuses to answer thequestion, insisting Arizonans know she’s working hard. Watch the clip here. 

Donate to mutual aid organizations. Phoenix is dealing with a deadly, record-breaking heat wave and heat-associated deaths are rising week by week. Support local mutual aid organizations providing relief to our unhoused neighbors who are especially at risk.