What a New School Vouchers Law Could Mean for Homeschoolers

In late June, Arizona lawmakers passed a universal school vouchers bill that gives all parents who choose not to send their children to public school the option to receive money from the state to help cover educational expenses.

According to Mesa-based KPNX-TV, all Arizona families who choose to receive the funding will receive a debit card worth an estimated $7,000.

“It’s not just for private schools,” Paul Boyer, a state senator representing District 20 in Maricopa County, told KPNX. “This is also for micro-schooling, for homeschooling, educational therapies, and tutoring.”

Opponents of the bill fear that money is being diverted away from public schools, while merely stuffing the pockets of the wealthy.

“We have no financial transparency, and we have no academic transparency,” said Christine Marsh, a former teacher of the year in Arizona and current state senator for District 4, representing much of the rural western and northwestern portion of the state. “I’d like to know how many families that earn maybe a million dollars a year are getting voucher money versus how many families earning maybe $30,000 or $40,000 a year are getting voucher money.”

On the other hand, the Goldwater Institute called the bill “a major victory for families wary of a one-size-fits-all approach to education.” Additional advocates for the bill argue that all parents paying taxes in Arizona deserve to be trusted.

“They know what’s best for their children,” said House Majority Leader Ben Toma, “and we should trust them to do the right thing.”

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