Arizona GOP lawmakers want you to pay wealthy kids' tuition
By: EJ Montini
Usually, politicians try to disguise, camouflage or outright conceal a scheme to make middle-class taxpayers hand over their hard-earned money to the filthy rich.
Not this time.
This time, the Republicans who control the Arizona Legislature don't seem give a damn.
They're going to take your money and let the wealthy use it to keep their kids in private schools, and they're doing it in a way that is blatantly in … your … face.
Almost there: Arizona may pass nation's largest school voucher program
Gotta give 'em credit for chutzpah, but not decency. Or morality.
Four years ago Arizona voters by an overwhelming margin rejected a Republican plan to allow all of Arizona's 1 million-plus public school students to get vouchers to attend private and parochial schools.
Arizona's voucher program - called Empowerment Scholarship Accounts - was sold initially as a way to provide assistance to special needs children, to low-income families, to the underserved.
That was the bait in what turned out to be a bait-and-switch con game.
The switch is happening now.
The Arizona House, along party lines, approved House Bill 2853, which removes all restrictions on who can get vouchers.
Republicans voted for it. Democrats against.
If it is passed by the Arizona Senate and is signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, it's a done deal. The Senate is also controlled by Republicans and Ducey is ... well ... Ducey.
Republican House Majority Leader Ben Toma said, "Ultimately, this is about children and families having choice about where their children should go."
No. That's not what this is about.
It's about the rich taking money they don't need … from you.
It's about your tax dollars subsidizing the education of children whose parents already have the wherewithal to afford private or parochial schools.
It's that simple.
Voucher bill is a way to help the wealthy pay less
The average voucher for the 11,000-plus students who currently receives Empowerment Scholarship Account money is about $6,000 to $7,000. Some students with special needs get a lot more, but that is understandable.
The thing is, an ESA grant isn't going to cover the $21,000 a year you'd need to pay for All Saints' Episcopal Day School. Or the $17,500 a year for Brophy College Preparatory. Or the $22,000-plus for high school at Rancho Solano. Or the cost of a lot of other private schools.
However, the people who already send their children to those schools would love to cut their costs using $6,000 of your cash.
It's like a getting free trip to Europe on your dime. Or a really swell time at a high-end resort. Hey, Vegas anyone?!
A good idea was turned into a scam
The idea that the Legislature could provide Arizona families with options for education is a good thing, particularly when it comes to those in poorly served areas and those who require more service that traditional public schools can provide.
This isn't that, however.
This is part of the Arizona GOP's ongoing irrational war on public education. A bizarre Robin Hood-in-reverse attack on our schools:
Robbing from the poor to give to the rich.
Forgiving student debt amounts to the same thing
and insults parents who saved and sacrificed to be able to pay for their child's higher education
IT doesn't take a dollar from anyone, and doesn't give a dollar to any "wealthy person"
Did you read the seed?
It gives people that want a voucher 6 to 7 k., which is not enough for any of the private schools around. So what it does is give wealthy families a discount.
The republicans also keep going against the will of the people that voted no on what they are doing.
I think vouchers and means testing is a complicated subject.
I would say that all Democrats are in favor of you paying for old people's healthcare regardless of their financial status.
Medicare is available to everyone (who has paid into it during their working career?) over 65. It is not means tested and neither is Social Security.
Ayn Rand used Medicare, BTW.
Isn't that nice. Give money to the people that don't need it.