White Mountain Democrats Little Colorado Democrats
1-1-2009
Garcia Calls on Huppenthal to Renounce Vouchers, Support Public Schools
–“Taxpayers are being scammed by Arizona vouchers, and Public Schools Chief John Huppenthal is at the forefront of the scam,” said Dr. David Garcia, candidate for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Garcia notes recent news reports that reveal the true cost of “Empowerment Scholarships,” otherwise known as Arizona vouchers.

“The public was sold on vouchers as a way to save the state money, but the reality is that vouchers actually cost us more money than a traditional public education,” said Garcia.

Garcia notes recent news reports that reveal the true cost of “Empowerment Scholarships,” otherwise known as Arizona vouchers.

“The public was sold on vouchers as a way to save the state money, but the reality is that vouchers actually cost us more money than a traditional public education,” said Garcia.

Because of a controversial interpretation by Arizona’s Department of Education, a department overseen by John Huppenthal, voucher recipients receive $602 more per pupil than the average district student, leaving current taxpayers on the hook for almost $1 million.

Proposed legislation will greatly expand the cost for taxpayers with estimates from the JLBC (Joint Legislative Budget Committee) at $24 million by fiscal year 2019.

But that’s not all. The cap on ESA’s is set to expire in 2019, meaning the bill for taxpayers could skyrocket as parents remove their children from public schools to attend private and parochial schools unaccountable to taxpayers.

“The domino effect of Arizona vouchers is the dismantling of public schools,” stated Garcia. “As our public schools fall apart, so to will our ability to help our most disadvantaged students, those who will be left with the scraps of an underfunded and neglected public school system.

“Quite simply, Arizona cannot afford John Huppenthal’s vision of “public” education. It’s time he end his obsession with taxpayer funded vouchers and get back to the business of strengthening our public schools. That’s the job he was elected to do, and that’s the job he should focus on.”

Garcia is an Associate Professor at ASU and a former Associate Superintendent of Public Instruction for Standards and Accountability. He is widely regarded as a national expert on education policy and research.

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