by John McClaughry
Under a bill signed in July, Arizona created the nation’s most expansive school-choice program. All families will be able to spend their children’s state-funded education dollars—about $7,000 a student each year—on any approved education expenses, including private-school tuition and fees, tutoring and instructional materials.
Parents of more than 10,000 students rushed to apply for the program. But Arizona has a procedure whereby if opponents of a new law can collect enough signatures within 90 days of its enactment, the secretary of state can stop the law and put it on the next general-election ballot, which will be in November 2024. The signature requirement is 119,000.
An anti-choice group said last week it had turned in over 141,000 signatures. It looked like a significant setback for school choice until the pro-choice Goldwater Institute acquired and reviewed the petition sheets. There were only 88,000 signatures. The opposition admitted defeat after this information came to light.
The author, a Kirby resident, is founder and vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute. To read all EAI news and commentary, go to www.ethanallen.org.