Arizona Governor Announces Program Allowing Funding To Follow Students Rather Than Teachers’ Unions

Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has drawn a line against teachers’ unions willing to sacrifice educating the state’s children using COVID as a pretense. He announced that his office is establishing an Open for Learning Recovery program designed to provide relief for parents who “face financial and educational barriers” because of unplanned school closures.

The governor’s communications director, C.J. Karamargin, said that the program intends to be “preemptive and proactive” in dealing with school calendar disruptions. The program will provide parents with up to $7,000 to go toward state-approved child care, school transportation, online tutoring, and tuition costs.

Karamargin said that the governor fully expects that the state’s public schools will remain open but added parents also need options in the event of unplanned closures. Parents in many school districts around the country have been frustrated by unpredictable and sudden closures.

The new Arizona program will allow parents to access the allocated education funds if the school that serves their children closes for even a single day. The distribution of funds will be subject to parental income. Families making up to 350 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible to participate in the program.

Ducey issued a statement saying he intends to ensure parents and children have options if schools close their doors, adding that in-person learning is vital for K-12 students. He said that his office will always provide parents with educational choices.

Although the low danger students and staff face from COVID and the ongoing mental health crisis resulting from the loss of in-school education, unions and progressive politicians have continued to mount a non-stop propaganda campaign to keep parents fearful. At the same time, teachers can stay at home without missing a single paycheck.

Corey DeAngelis is the national director of research for School Choice Now. He told PJ Media recently that all states should follow Arizona’s example. He said if a grocery store decides to close, customers can take their dollars elsewhere to care for their needs, and parents should have the same option for schools.

DeAngelis added that taxpayer funding for education should serve children, not protect particular schools. He said, “We should fund students, not systems.”

He added that funding students give every school strong incentives to focus on the needs of children first and that allowing parents to “vote with their feet” is the strongest form of accountability that exists.