Legislators approve voucher expansion & hold school takeover bill – Arizona Education News Service – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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Arizona Legislators approved expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, or school vouchers that pay for private education with public taxpayer money, today and a student exchange program bill yesterday, but held bills on school takeovers and one that would prohibit classroom discussion of race, ethnicity, equity and systemic racism as well as amend sections of the Arizona Constitution about preferential treatment, discrimination and education.

Senate Bill 1657, sponsored by Senate Education Chair Paul Boyer, would expand ESAs, also known as school vouchers, to children who meet the income eligibility requirements for the national free- and reduced-price school lunch program, whose families receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan, who resides within the boundaries of a Title I school, who participates or previously participated in an educational recovery benefit program, who resides within the boundary of a school district that submitted a plan for the construction of a new school in the past two years, whose parent is a first responder or a health professional.

“Those individuals who are opting to get the private school option through the district schools, I believe they are paying about $30,000 to $40,000 plus transportation, because as a taxpayer we are funding the transportation too, so I do like the idea that this ESA proposal does have a transportation component. That is one thing that holds people back from being mobile and getting to another school,” said House Ways & Means Chair Shawnna Bolick as she voted for the bill.

Senate Bill 1657 was approved by the House Ways & Means Committee Wednesday morning.

Arizona Capitol Television: House Ways & Means Committee – 3/23/2022

Student exchange program bill passes House Ed Committee

The House Education Committee approved a student exchange program bill yesterday.

Senate Bill 1361, sponsored by Senate Education Chair Paul Boyer, which is the subject of a strike everything amendment now would allow district or charter schools to include exchange students from other countries in their student count and obtain state funding for them.  

SB 1361 would also provide certificates of

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