A group of approximately 150 parents demonstrated Tuesday over newly-elected Arizona Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs’ planned demolition of the country’s largest school choice program, parents told the Daily Caller.
An executive budget put forth by the governor on Jan. 13th instructed state legislators to undo the expansion of the state’s school choice program that grants Arizona K-12 students the ability to choose taxpayer-funded scholarships in place of pursuing an education in the public school system.
Now, a group of parents calling themselves “Education for All,” has protested against Hobb’s decision at the state capitol, arguing the move will rob children of opportunities.
“It would rip away essentially thousands of dollars that we as taxpayers already pay into the system, that is for our children already,” Stacey Brown, a leader of the rally, reportedly told the Daily Caller. “It would mean that it would cripple some homeschoolers, it would cripple children who wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise to possibly go to a private school and to receive extra aid in areas that they need aid. It really, really, really, really would hinder Arizona as a whole and the leg up that we have compared to other states to provide and to produce excellent educated children. We truly want education for every child in Arizona, whatever that might be to fit their needs.”
The nation’s largest school choice program was formed by former Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) in July and gave over 1.1 million students in public and charter education the ability to be awarded grants of over $7,000 to help them change schools.
Former Hobbs gubernatorial opponent Republican Kari Lake criticized the Arizona governor in the past for her opposition to school choice programs.
In a video posted to Twitter in September, Lake argued that Hobbs wants to take away the ability of parents to choose where their child receives an education.
Kari Lake slams Katie Hobbs for holding up the school choice program: pic.twitter.com/p9jOgyHOVP
— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) September 29, 2022
Bella Viner, an organizer of the protest and Arizona parent who has worked with students of various diverse backgrounds, argued the state’s school choice program helps children find a good fit in their educational pursuits.
“Through this program, they are able to choose a better education and school that will concentrate on their needs, especially special-needs children,” Viner said. “So they take away this program, they are going to take away the opportunity to have a better education in the future, to have a professional job and to be able to fulfill the dream that their family has come to this country for. Because we come to the United States for the American dream and we can not get out of poverty without a proper education.”