This past Sunday, one Democratic nominee for the gubernatorial seat of Arizona, Katie Hobbs, spoke out concerning her education plan in which she chose to double down on her outright opposition to school choice.
Currently sitting as the secretary of state for Arizona and herself a private school grad, Hobbs claimed that her education plan for the state includes cracking down against the state’s school voucher program.
“Too often, Republicans have completely disregarded public opinion in an effort to defund our public schools. At every turn, they have moved to expand school vouchers without common-sense measures of accountability, with the clear intent to eventually do away with our local public schools,” explained Hobbs concerning her plan.
Just recently, Arizona heartily expanded its school voucher program this past summer. A bill was signed back in July by Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) that let every student in Arizona get a taxpayer-funded Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) account to use for paying off their education at a private school, which equates to roughly $6,500 per kid for grades 1-12.
Over the first two weeks of the online portal going live for the new ESA applications, the state was slammed with close to seven thousand new applications for these school vouchers.
Hobbs stated that as the governor, she would roll back the expansion for all students.
“Vouchers should not have been expanded to provide an unaccountable means of enriching private schools and defunding our local public schools,” she stated in her plan.
Hobbs also went off on the Republicans of Arizona, who she claims “pressed forward with their latest attack on our schools” by making sure to pass the universal expansion of this new school voucher program.
“The unaccountable spending of taxpayer dollars needs to change,” she explained.
On the other hand, Hobbs also seeks to get Arizona public schools to be able to spend far more money.
Her particular plan is in favor of outright eliminating the spending limit set for Arizona’s public schools, known as the aggregate expenditure limit (AEL), which limits the total amount of money that public schools can actually spend out of their budget. The public school system of Arizona is estimated to spend over $1.3 billion less in this coming fiscal year with the spending cap.
Despite her claims, Hobbs herself was able to benefit from private school education.
Hobbs graduated from one private Catholic high school located in Chandler Arizona back in 1988, Seton Catholic Preparatory. Seton has made sure to loudly and proudly highlight Hobbs’s previous attendance at their school.