Our state government stands at a crossroads. Depending on who you ask, Gov. Hobbs and the Republican-led legislature will either work together to finalize a budget peacefully within the next few weeks, or talks will break down, with Republican legislative leadership stubbornly insisting on misplaced priorities that end up shuttering the state.
For our part, we want to make one thing abundantly clear: Any budget that does not roll back, freeze, or significantly cap the off-the-rails universal ESA voucher program is unacceptable.
We call upon all pro-public education lawmakers to refuse to support any budget that fails to address the tremendous financial bleeding of ESA vouchers. The facts are clear and stark: This ruinous “alt-schools fiasco” is diverting nearly $500 million this school year from our local public schools, doing harm to countless kids. Superintendent Horne and the ADE have proven themselves completely unable to administer universal ESA vouchers, hurting families enrolled in the program before its expansion. A key rule of governance is, if you’re in a hole, stop digging.