This week, Americans celebrate National School Choice Week. For 20 years, Arizona has led the nation in giving parents the opportunity to choose the best education to meet their children’s needs.
That’s what school choice is all about: meeting the educational needs of children; serving the best interests of children.
Whether the parents’ choice is public, charter, private, homeschool, or online education, we at Center for Arizona Policy support parents in their right to make that choice. Part of our vision for Arizona to be one of the best states in which to raise a family is advocating for legislation that meets the educational needs of children.
Read on to celebrate school choice in Arizona.
Six-year-old Byanca has Down syndrome and challenges with her speech. Her mother credits the little girl’s school with the progress she’s seen in her daughter. Ramona Carrasco says, “During the first two months that she attended her new school, she started speaking more, and her words were clear in both English and Spanish.”
Byanca attends an Arizona private school. One her mother says wouldn’t be possible for her family if it weren’t for the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA).
Read here for Byanca’s story and others.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s vision for Arizona is as a land of boundless opportunity. In his State of the State speech on January 9, Governor Ducey said,
“We’ve been a leader on school choice, and we will continue to be a leader.”
Then just yesterday Gov. Ducey reaffirmed his commitment to school and parental choice:
“We’re going to continue to be a leader on school choice [and] on parental choice. I want kids to have the opportunity to go to the school that’s best for them. Arizona has been a model for this. And we’re going to continue down this road,”
To celebrate National School Choice Week, take a minute to thank Governor Ducey for his vision here.
Arizona offers parents two incredible school choice options: scholarship tax credits and empowerment scholarship accounts. To learn more about these choices, click here.
Take the Credit-Do Your Part
Arizonans who donate to a school tuition organization are eligible for a state income tax credit. These tax credits are what help enable 30,000 students to attend the private school chosen by their parents. There’s still time to take the credit for your 2016 taxes. Learn more here.
Here We Go Again
The annual ritual of introducing bills to rollback school choice programs is well underway. At least 8 of these bills have been introduced with more likely to come. Rep. Randall Friese wins the award for introducing the most bills attacking scholarship tax credit programs. Rep. Friese and others want to reduce the dollars available for scholarships, rollback eligibility, and limit the school tuition organization’s operational effectiveness. Also predictably as always, school choice opponents are proposing budget cuts to the programs.
You can read the bills here: HB 2057, HB 2058, HB 2059, HB 2060, HB 2061, HB 2062, HB 2063 and HB 2080