Arizona Teachers Unions’ Attempt To Nix School Choice Expansion Appears To Fail | Eastern North Carolina Now | Arizona passed a massive school choice expansion over the summer.

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Mairead Elordi.

    An attempt by Arizona's teachers unions to block the state's massive school choice expansion appears to have failed.

    Save Our Schools Arizona, an anti-school choice group backed by teachers unions, is trying to get a ballot referendum for the state's new expanded school choice program, but the group appears to have fallen dramatically short of the required signatures.

    On Friday, Save Our Schools claimed that it had collected 141,714 signatures, well above the 118,823 valid signatures required to trigger a ballot referendum of Arizona's school choice expansion, the Arizona Mirror reported. The signature threshold is equal to 5% of all votes cast in Arizona's last gubernatorial election.

    However, according to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, the group filed a total of 8,175 petition sheets, the AZ Mirror noted. Based on that number, according to the outlet, they would have had to fill nearly every line of every sheet with signatures to meet the threshold. To meet the number of signatures they claimed to have, they would have had to have an overflow of signatures on every sheet.

    Many of the sheets were nowhere near full, according to school choice advocate Corey DeAngelis.

    Two pro-school choice think tanks, the Goldwater Institute and Center for Arizona Policy, calculated that only about 89,000 signatures were filed.

    On Monday, the executive director of Save Our Schools Arizona admitted that the group had probably failed.

    "I think we will end up short, yes," Beth Lewis said.

    The final results are slated to be made public in October after the Secretary of State's Office reviews the signatures.

    Arizona expanded its school voucher program over the summer. Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) signed a bill in July allowing every Arizona student to get a taxpayer-funded Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) to pay for their education at a private school, about $6,500 per child for grades 1-12.

    In the first two weeks after the online portal for new ESA applications opened, the state received around 6,800 new applications for school vouchers. More than a million K-12 public school students are eligible for an ESA account under the expansion, up from 11,000 students previously, according to the Goldwater Institute, which fights for school choice and parents' rights.

    "The preliminary results make it clear: Arizona families have rejected special interests' attempts to take away their ability to choose the education that best meets their child's unique needs," said Victor Riches, president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute.

    "Families deserve the right to choose the best education option for their children, regardless of zip code, and now, they'll once again be able to exercise that right by applying for ESAs," Riches continued.

    On Monday, Arizona House Republican Majority Leader Ben Toma, who sponsored the school choice bill, also responded to the anti-school choice group's apparent failure.

    "Chalk up another major victory for Arizona families wanting the freedom to choose the education that best meets their child's needs," Toma said in a statement.

    "School choice is increasingly popular with Arizona parents, especially those whose children are stuck in a failing school, so I find it baffling that anyone would try so hard to take that choice away from parents. It's good that they have apparently failed," he added.

    Meanwhile, Katie Hobbs, the Democratic nominee for Arizona governor, is running on an explicitly anti-school choice platform. Earlier this month, she released her education plan, which includes rolling back the voucher expansion.

    Support for school choice has increased since before the pandemic as frustrated parents confronted school boards over a litany of issues including COVID restrictions and curriculum materials they deemed inappropriate.

    Other states are also working to expand school choice. Last month, a school choice group in Michigan cleared one of two major hurdles it needs to circumvent Governor Gretchen Whitmer's (D-MI) veto of a school choice measure.

In what may be the most divisive period in modern American History, even more divisive than the turbulent sixties due to today's lack of patriotism, consider what are the major catalysts causing so much of this calamity of conflict, and vote: What most instigates the division of America, on this day September 20, 2022?
  Racism within our society
  Sex realignment to the detriment of our society.
  Biden /Harris Wide Open Southern Border Policy for the Demographic Upheaval of OUR Constitutional Republic
  Rampant Crime in Democratic controlled cities, and the possible contagion elsewhere
  Covid Pandemic, and its mishandling at the political, and bureaucratic levels.
  The unresolved questions /allegation regarding the flawed 2020 General Election
  January 6th Riot or "Armed Insurrection", depending upon patriotic perspective
  Joe Biden as Divisive Leader; Ineffective and Corrupt Executive
  Failed Education Industry, from an overall perspective, regarding all levels of education.
  Propagandistic Media in complete conflict with the First Amendment's guarantee of Freedom of Speech, and the awesome responsibility of a Free Press..
  "Orangeman Bad!"
  Bureaucracy rushing to a behemoth size, its unjustified expense, and far too often overreach.
  The Weaponized Deep State for political purposes
  A secular ambivalence to all that is real.
  Record number of overdose deaths from opioids and now Fentanyl
  Biden Administration's disastrous Foreign Policy
  Bidenflation /supply chain failure inevitably evolving into stagflation and recession.
  "Ultra MAGA Extremists" freely speaking louder AND LOUDER!
697 total vote(s)     What's your Opinion?

Inarguably, the policies of the Democrats in congress and Joe Biden as the Executive is plunging the United States into a recession, if we are not already there; a recession that was completely avoidable. Will abrupt changes in policies occur in time?
  Yes, the Democrats have a bold plan, yet to be revealed, to save us.
  No, there will have to be a complete undoing of the damage done by these Democrats.
  I can't do simple math, so how am I to understand the concept of basic economics.
1,181 total vote(s)     What's your Opinion?

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