Opinion

Kirby: ESA expansion is a victory for parents, students

Posted 7/5/22

The Arizona State Legislature adjourned on June 25. However, before the session ended, the Republican-controlled legislature passed the most significant school choice expansion legislation in the …

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Opinion

Kirby: ESA expansion is a victory for parents, students

Posted

The Arizona State Legislature adjourned on June 25. However, before the session ended, the Republican-controlled legislature passed the most significant school choice expansion legislation in the country; funding students instead of systems.

The funding, about $7,000 a student, will follow the child to an “education savings account” directed by the student’s parents or guardians. Parents can apply the money towards approved education expenditures, such as private/charter-school tuition and fees, tutoring, transportation, instructional materials, and curriculum. This expansion further applies to services and therapies for students with disabilities, supporting whatever the student needs to thrive.

By supporting school choice and investing in students over systems, power is returned to the parents. Whether it’s public, charter, private, homeschool, or online we owe it to the children across the state of Arizona to give them the best educational opportunity. ESAs significantly helps lower-income families by providing educational opportunities to enroll their children in a school where they have the best chance to succeed.

Students should be at the forefront of all education policy considerations. Yet, we’ve seen a continued decline in teacher quality, student achievement, and parent satisfaction due to the politicization of our classrooms and curriculum.

After two years of power-hungry teachers’ unions fighting for school closings and increased political indoctrination in the classroom, parents have had enough.

For too long in K-12 education, bloated administrations and rubber-stamp school boards have turned their backs on parents. As a result, parents are pushing back. The Republican Party is becoming the Parent’s Party as school choice is increasingly becoming one of the only ways to secure parental rights in education. Actions speak louder than words, and the Republican Party is delivering across the country. From Arizona to Virginia and beyond, nearly 18 states have passed legislation enacting/expanding school choice legislation.

Arizona prides itself as an example to the rest of the nation regarding education policy and political action. By empowering parents and keeping the focus where it should be - on students, The Republican Party continues to reinforce its position as the Parent’s Party. This expansion of school choice serves as a gold standard nationwide.