McClaughry: Real school choice passes in Arizona

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.

John McClaughry

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.

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The author, a Kirby resident, is founder and vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute. To read all EAI news and commentary, go to

Categories: Commentary

1 reply »

  1. Where I lived in S. Jersey, parochial schools were subsidized. It actually made economic sense.