rizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs just released her proposed budget, and her vision may be a difficult place to start with a Republican majority state legislature.
A key point in the budget is the repeal of the universal empowerment scholarship account program, which allows parents to use the money that would have originally gone to their child’s public education to fund different education expenses, such as for tuition at a non-public institution.
While the program, which has proven to be popular among Arizona parents, was under scrutiny from groups such as Save Our Schools, their petition ultimately failed, and the program has remained intact in recent months. It’s considered a major victory for state Republicans and the legacy of the Ducey administration–so much so that other states like Iowa are working to incorporate similar policies. Democrats and the teachers unions that back them are strongly opposed to the push for programs like these because they give parents of all socioeconomic backgrounds buying power in their child’s education, and it could lead to less attention and money toward public schools.
Hobbs’s budget includes an increase of K-12 education funding by $274 million, and partially attributes that increase to “ESA repeal,” ABC15 political analyst Garrett Archer tweeted Friday.
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