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School choice a sham, profits on the taxpayers’ dime

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It is time for Arizonans to take a hard look at who really benefits from school choice. While some families may want tax-payer funded options, the dizzying array of choices, combined with lax oversight and weak laws, make Arizona’s taxpayers easy marks for profiteering on the taxpayers’ dime.

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Letter: Expand the ESA program

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I am a father of five wonderful adopted children. Like every parent, I want the best for each one. We are so fortunate to have the empowerment scholarship accounts, allowing us to send the kids to a private school where they get the extra attention they need to overcome challenges and thrive.

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Senate panel approves major expansion of school choice program

(Photo by Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times)

The 4-3 vote by the Senate Education Committee followed hours of testimony from individuals who already get what lawmakers call “empowerment scholarship accounts” detailing how they have helped their children. Eligible groups range from children with special needs to those on reservations and those who attend schools rated D or F.

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Arizona school data shows uneven distribution of ethnic groups

Students participate during class at EAGLE College Prep Maryvale on Nov. 16, 2015. The charter school is part of New Schools for Phoenix, an initiative that aims to develop 25-high-performing schools in some of the most impoverished areas of Phoenix by the year 2020. (Photo by Griselda Nevarez/Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting)

Two decades after Arizona helped pioneer the charter school movement, enrollment data show the schools don’t match the school age demographics of the state and, in many cases, their neighborhoods. White - and especially Asian - students attend charter schools at a higher rate than Hispanics, who now make up the the greatest portion of Arizona’s school age population.

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