Lawmakers to review Arizona school choice program

From Superintendent Horne's office

A bipartisan committee in the Arizona House of Representatives will delve into how the Universal Empowerment Scholarship Account funds are managed.

An ad hoc committee on the “governance and administration” of the accounts is intended to look at how the money is used while also looking at the outcomes and demographics of those who are using the new program.

According to a statement from the House, Speaker Ben Toma and Minority Leader Andres Cano agreed to establish the study committee, which is expected to have a report put together by the end of 2023.

Both Gov. Katie Hobbs and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne will also play a role in the committee, a document from the House says.

The announcement comes both the state Legislature voted on a budget with some reluctant Democrat support, with a large reason being that the universal ESA funds were not capped.

Groups like Save Our Schools Arizona, which opposes ESAs, said that they would not support a budget that did not make major cuts to the program, The Center Square reported Tuesday.

Former Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed the ESA program into law in July 2022. The program’s intention is to give parents more opportunities to use funds originally dedicated toward per-student public school funding to help go toward charter school tuition, homeschooling, and other education-related expenses.

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.