When it was created 18 years ago Arizona touted the first tax credit for private education as a way to support low-income children and children with special-needs, as detailed in an article in The Arizona Republic. However, now "about 3% of the money is designated specifically for special-needs students and 32% of the scholarship money given through the individual tax-credit programs goes to children of 'low income' families."
Even more disturbing, the program, long advocated for by Republican leaders in the legislature and Gov. Ducey, was initially estimated to cost $4.5 million a year in 1997 but now tops $140 million.
Rep. Dr. Eric Meyer, Democratic Leader in the Arizona House of Representatives, knows the impact this program has on public schools. “'When you give to a private-school tax credit, it’s taking over $100 million out of the general fund to pay for your neighborhood school', he said."
Some argue that the tax-credit allows private schools to educate more children, thus, removing some of the burden from public schools. "But Arizona’s private-school enrollment in 2012, the most recent year available, was nearly 2,000 students lower than it had been since before the tax-credit program was started. Public and charter schools in Arizona during that same period have grown by more than 400,000 children."
#AskDuceyWhy he and Republican leaders continue to steal money from public schools to benefit families that already have resources.