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SOSAZ Weekly Education Report 18 - 5/16/2022
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Save Our Schools Arizona

Weekly Education Report

55th Legislature, 2nd General Session

Volume 4, Issue 18 • Week of May 16, 2022

Lawmakers' obsession with ESA vouchers is endangering our state

The Arizona Legislature is hoarding $5.3 billion in excess revenue while Arizona families are struggling. Our classrooms remain disastrously underfunded, our state’s water supply is in crisis, and families are being forced onto the streets in an affordable housing implosion. Lawmakers in the Republican majority (who hold all the power) should be developing a budget that provides for these and other urgent needs — but instead they are misusing their power over all three chambers of government to expand an unpopular voucher program that will only further destabilize our community schools.

Let’s be clear: Arizonans are not clamoring for more vouchers. The pressure is from outside special interests like billionaires Betsy DeVos and the Kochs, who are obsessed with exploiting our kids to make a profit, even now when our kids need support the most.

Reach out to lawmakers today and let them know you see their political games, and demand better: email your lawmakers here!

Building a state budget is our state lawmakers' primary duty. Yet, rather than craft a bipartisan solution that provides for Arizona families and communities, these lawmakers are trying to negotiate a backroom deal to expand an entitlement program — a taxpayer-funded private school voucher expansion that voters are not asking for and do not want.

Don’t just take it from us: In 2017, Republican Rep. Michelle Udall (R-25) voted against the universal voucher expansion bill that became Prop 305, for very similar reasons.

It's no secret our public schools remain far from fully funded. So why are Republican lawmakers so fanatically fixated on expanding vouchers? It's not just public schools, teachers and families they're running into the ground; it's our entire state. Arizona is in the grip of a massive drought, a crisis that a new, expensive, politically appointed bureaucracy will just make worse. Homelessness is exploding because our housing costs are the fastest rising in the nation. A pipe broke under the US-60 freeway, leaving the entire East Valley snarled in traffic. Meanwhile, our state is sitting on an almost unimaginably gigantic budget surplus that could solve literally all these problems.

Our state's Republican legislative majority holds every card. But they're hung up on their monomaniacal obsession with expanding private school vouchers?

Some Republican lawmakers are demanding a universal ESA voucher expansion or they will oppose any additional K-12 funding in the budget. That's not governing — that's a tantrum. We call on these lawmakers to abandon their crusade to inflate a pet entitlement that nobody wants but them, and do the hard work of running our state. Someone sure needs to!

Calls to Action

🌟  Use our one-click email tool to tell lawmakers NO to their incessant attacks on public education

Be the first to sport a *NEW* #Vote4PublicEd car magnet:

Bills Still in Motion

Many of these could be brought up for a vote with less than one day's notice.

Attacks on schools, school boards, districts:

Voucher expansions:

Attacks on teachers & curriculum:

Watering down teaching:

What You Can Do to Help

Your voice matters! A simple phone call or email to your lawmaker asking them to prioritize funding for schools and responsible policies for education goes a long way. Make it clear that you expect well-funded and well-resourced schools where educators feel supported and students feel safe. 

For Arizona to move forward and thrive, we need these critical discussions! Find your legislative district here. Email and phone info is here for your representatives and here for your senator. Please reach out and make your voice heard.

Here are some other easy actions you can take:

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