As newly seated Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) has begun the process of demolishing the state’s school choice program, concerned parents are protesting the move directed by teachers’ unions and woke media outlets.
Around 150 parents gathered on Tuesday to protest Hobbs’ plan. The protestors carried signs reading “support for all students” and “education for all” to speak against the new administration’s budget proposals.
Hobbs’ office released her executive budget last Friday, which shows the governor is calling on state legislators to put the brakes on the Arizona school choice system. The program makes every K-12 student in the state eligible to receive scholarships funded by the treasury if they attend school outside of the public school system or plan to do so.
Katie Hobbs released her first budget today and it is an absolute disaster:
•College Tuition for illegal aliens
•Repeals Border Security funding
•Dismantles School Choice vouchers
It’s fitting she released this on Friday the 13th. It’s horrific.
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) January 14, 2023
The protests are being led by Education for All, a grassroots parent organization. The group supports the current plan signed into law last July by former Gov. Doug Ducey (R).
Rally organizer Stacey Brown told the Daily Caller that Hobbs intends to “rip away essentially thousands of dollars that we as taxpayers already pay into the system, that is for our children already.”
Brown said ending the school choice program 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.”
Hobbs wants the state to return to its previous school choice program, which only provided aid for disabled students, those attending low-performing public schools, and children living on American Indian reservations. Rather than having school choice available to every Arizona family, Hobbs’ plan would restrict the program to only around one-third of students.
Bella Viner is another protest organizer. She has worked with Hispanic and Black families to place students in the best school for each family since the current program went into effect. She said students using the program can “choose a better education and school that will concentrate on their needs, especially special-needs children.”
Viner added that the students she works with have “come to the United States for the American dream and can not get out of poverty without a proper education.”