Howard Fischer reports in the Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) that Governor signs massive school voucher expansion into law.
Gov. Doug Ducey late Thursday signed legislation to make all public school students in Arizona eligible to get state money to attend private and parochial schools.
But the plan, approved by the House and Senate hours earlier with no Democrat support and several Republicans in opposition, will not mean every child would be able to get one of these vouchers. The bill has a limit, though that could be removed by lawmakers in the future.
What’s in this for Ducey? The Capitol Times Yellow Sheet reports that [For Ducey, all the nation’s a stage (access required) - and I don’t have access, but here’s the summary. “National conservative figures heaped praise on Ducey for his role in pushing S1431 (empowerment scholarships; expansion; phase-in) through, boosting the profile of a governor whom many view as a politician who’s looking for a bigger spot on the national stage.”
Wait for it. The next step is to remove all restrictions. I wager that Ducey will sign off on that one as well. It’s already happening. See the Blue Meanie’s report The ‘Kochtopus’ Goldwater Institute is plotting to lift the caps in the new ‘vouchers for all’ law.
There’s nothing, really, to stop such a move. The AZ voters reliably vote “R” no matter what. The AZ Supreme Court has already ruled that money laundering is constitutional. You know - I’ve said it before. Money laundering follows this formula: A gives $ to B, B gives those $ to C. In the present context, AZ gives $ to parents, parents gives those $ to private religious schools. The state Supreme Court shrugged off the constitutional prohibition and said, vouchers are OK because it’s the parents’ choice.
We were all waiting for Ducey’s promised next steps, after Prop 123, for funding AZ public education. We now know what Step 2 looks like.
BTW: check out David Safier’s post on who gets the most voucher money, Vouchers on Steroids’ ESAs Used Mainly By Affluent Parents, to see what’s really driving the push for voucher expansion.