Arizona Officials Offer Heated Responses About School Choice Cost Projection

Arizona’s universal school choice program is estimated to see significant growth over the next fiscal year to 100,000 students with a price tag of $900 million. Opponents of the program say its cost will bankrupt the state but others say the expense will be offset.

In complying with state law, the Arizona Department of Education offered the Joint Legislative Budget Committee its annual estimate on what it would need to fund empowerment scholarship accounts for the upcoming fiscal year. With nearly 58,000 students already enrolled in the program, ADE projects the program will grow to 100,000 students in fiscal year 2024 at a cost of $900 million. 

Read the full story

Universal Empowerment Scholarship Account Participation Soars in Arizona

A new report for the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute (GI) Monday revealed that participation in the state’s universal Empowerment Scholarship Account program is soaring, and so is Arizona’s economy.

“Arizona’s bet on universal school choice is already paying off. At the same time that enrollment in the state’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program is surging, the state’s revenue surplus has gone through the roof,” wrote Matt Beienburg, Director of Education Policy at the GI. “In the first four months of 2023 alone, enrollment in Arizona’s ESA program has soared by 7,000 students, bringing the total number of children served to over 51,000.”

Read the full story

Arizona Legislative Report Reveals ‘Extraordinary’ Fiscal Growth in State

A new report from the Arizona Legislature’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee shows Arizona is in great economic condition, breaking records. Revenues from taxes are high or better than projected, with significant gains expected in the future, and personal income is growing at the fastest pace since 1985. It comes after Arizona passed historic tax cuts, reducing the personal income tax to the lowest flat tax in the country at 2.5%. However, some of the rosy picture is due to COVID-19 relief.

Governor Doug Ducey issued a statement about the report, “It paints a picture of a state economy that has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic not only in great shape, but poised to achieve even greater accomplishments in the years ahead. The ‘extraordinary growth’ Arizona saw in Fiscal Year 2021 is positive news for every Arizonan. We are leading the way in the nation’s economic recovery.”

Read the full story