(Washington, D.C.) – When the Arizona legislature and Governor worked together to enact legislation to expand educational opportunity, special interests were unable to defeat a new law to allow up to 30,000 students to access better schools. An expansion of Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account was signed into law in April, allowing qualifying students and families to choose the school that best fits their needs. This reform is especially important to Arizona’s Hispanic students, who are more likely than others to be trapped in low-performing public schools.
Since then however, opponents of the law have been seeking signatures in support of a referendum aimed at blocking it. It is unclear whether there are enough signatures to force a vote, but press reports indicate that Arizona students will be denied this educational opportunity for several months, while state officials determine how many valid signatures have been submitted.
Daniel Garza, President of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
“Far too many Arizona students are trapped in schools that just don’t prepare them adequately for the competitive workplace of the future. Our children’s future is too important to allow unions and other partisan interests to force them to stay in low-performing schools, or schools that don’t properly meet their needs. Arizona has been a leader in school choice, and the reforms that have been implemented in recent years have been critical in enabling families with limited resources to access the same opportunities available to wealthier families. The last thing we should do is turn back the clock to the bad old days, or undo much needed reforms that have been approved by the people through their elected representatives.”