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Arizona voters reject voucher expansion

New York Teacher

Voters in Arizona overwhelmingly defeated a ballot proposition on Nov. 6 that would have greatly expanded the state’s school voucher program. The proposal would have made all of Arizona’s 1.1 million students eligible for the program, capping participation at 30,000.

In 2017, just over 5,000 students were enrolled in the program — draining about $60 million in public dollars for private alternatives.

The measure had passed the state’s Republican-led Legislature and had the governor’s support, but more than 100,000 people signed petitions to put it before voters in a public referendum. On Election Day, 65 percent of voters rejected the proposed expansion.

“We just really believed that we needed to send the message that we want to support public schools, that we’ve had enough of these privatization schemes that hurt more people than they help,” said Dawn Penich-Thacker, a co-founder of Save Our Schools Arizona, the grassroots group that spearheaded the petition drive.

Arizona Republic, Nov. 6
KJZZ, Nov. 7