Save our Schools Arizona delivered 111,540 signatures to the secretary of state on Aug. 8, 2017, to put the controversial expansion of Arizona’s school-voucher program on the November 2018 ballot.
Arizonans may soon get a postcard in their mailbox telling them how great Arizona’s education system is, and how it’s all because of school choice.
But the campaign — at least so far — appears less about actually letting parents choose the school that’s right for their child and more about pushing two options Americans for Prosperity wants them to consider.
Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a conservative political education arm of the Koch brothers network, is behind the flier. The organization has backed conservative candidates in Arizona and is a vocal supporter of expanding the state’s Empowerment Scholarship Account school-voucher program.
The first postcard going out mentions Arizona’s improved math and reading scores and states that “Giving Arizona families more freedom is helping more children get a quality education.”
The group’s new website, arizonaschoolfacts.com, tells stories about charter schools and access to private schools through ESAs.
Both fail to mention that the improved test scores they are touting are for district students, by a vast majority. They also fail to mention that calculations of Arizona test scores don’t include any private-school students.
So how does giving more students access to private schools equate to improved student testing scores in public schools?
“It introduces competition,” said Americans for Prosperity Foundation spokesman Adam Nicholson. “If you have four grocery stories in an area, it will assure that all are competing. And this will push all schools to improve the education they offer their students.”
He said that while the website currently focuses on charters and ESAs, there is more…