**Action Item — Arizona Education — Monday, February 13, 2017
While we’re bombarded with news out of D.C., we need to keep an eye on what the Arizona Legislature is up to. Arizona Republican lawmakers are fast-tracking two bills, HB 2394 and SB 1431, which will expand school vouchers (ESA’s) to every child by 2020, ultimately decimating funding for our public schools.
The Senate Republicans have already voted SB 1431 out of the Education Committee, but we still have an opportunity tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., to let the Arizona House Education Committee members know we’re opposed to pillaging of our public schools.
We need you to please call or email to speak out against HB 2394! Begin calling at 9:00 a.m. all the way through 1:59 p.m. Or, show up at the Capitol committee hearing if you are in Phoenix. Here are the committee members:
State Rep. Paul Boyer (LD-20)(R) – – (602) 926-4173
State Rep. Douglas Coleman (LD-16)(R) – – (602) 926-3160
State Rep. Lela Alston (LD-24)(D) – – (602) 926-5829
State Rep. Reginald Bolding (LD-27)(D) – – (602) 926-3132
State Rep. Macario Saldate (LD-3)(D) – – (602) 926- 4171
State Rep. Russell Bowers (LD-25)(R) – – (602) 926-3128
State Rep. Jill Norgaard (LD-18)(R) – – (602) 926-3140
State Rep. Don Shooter (LD-13)(R) – – (602) 926-4838
State Rep. David Stringer (LD-1)(R) – – (602) 926-4838
State Rep. Michelle Udall (LD-25)(R) – – (602) 926-4856
State Rep. Becky Nutt (LD-14)(R) – – (602) 926-4852
Talking Points (Provided by the Arizona School Boards Association):
Empowerment Scholarship Accounts divert more general fund revenue per student to private schools than district schools receive.
On average, an ESA student costs the state general fund $1,083 more in grades K-8, and $1,286 more in grades 9-12 than a district student. This is because an ESA student receives no support from the local property taxpayer, like district students do.
An ESA student receives charter additional assistance funding of roughly $1,200 per student, which district schools do not receive.
Universal ESAs are an entitlement program with a completely unknown cost. The general fund cannot sustain a large ESA population without hurting not only education, but also public safety and other essential services. The conservative Arizona Legislature would never entertain this idea for any other interest group.
ESAs send the message that students are worth more to the state if they choose to leave public school than if they choose to stay.
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