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Free Minds & Free Markets

School Choice Battle Over Arizona Ballot Measure: New at Reason

Until we can get government entirely out of education, we’ll have to keep fighting to preserve and expand our ability to choose what’s right for our kids.

Pavel Horak/Westend 61 GmbH/NewscomPavel Horak/Westend 61 GmbH/NewscomIn Arizona, "empowerment scholarship accounts" (ESAs) have allowed special-needs kids and those attending failing public schools to escape institutions that don't work for them so they can seek education elsewhere. Last year, state lawmakers voted to expand eligibility for the ESA program to all students, with participation capped at around 30,000 kids.

Expanded access to ESAs would grant more families the potential for greater control over and happiness with children's education—the kind wealthier families already enjoy.

But opponents of school choice won a battle to put the ESA program's expansion on the ballot as Proposition 305. As of last week, polling on Proposition 305 shows a plurality of Arizona voters (41 percent) supporting expansion of the ESA program, with 32 percent opposed and 27 percent undecided.

That's a lot of undecided voters, writes J.D. Tuccille. But it gives the edge to those who want to expand the empowerment scholarship accounts program.

Photo Credit: Pavel Horak/Westend 61 GmbH/Newscom

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