Jonathan Butcher

Arizona Remains a Leader in Innovative Education Reform

Posted on March 06, 2012 | Author: Jonathan Butcher
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Last week, Gov. Jan Brewer kept Arizona out front in innovative education reform. Gov. Brewer’s signature on SB 1047 will help students on private school scholarship waiting lists finally realize their dream of attending their school of choice.

This doubles the cap on tax credits individuals and married couples can receive for donations to tuition scholarship organizations, but the new law directs any contributions over $503 ($1,006 for married couples) to be used for students switching from public schools to private schools. This will ensure that scholarships are given to children who wouldn’t otherwise attend private school, and it saves the state money. 
The program’s expansion will help create more stories like that of Jorge, a senior at Glendale Christian Academy. Jorge says the school changed his life, and now he has dreams of studying business when he gets to college. He plans to teach music lessons in low-income neighborhoods, too. Without a scholarship made possible by the tax credit program, Jorge would not be able to attend Glendale Christian.
Gov. Brewer’s signature maintained Arizona’s leadership in giving parents the freedom to choose the best school for their child. “You know your children better than anyone else,” she says to parents on the Arizona School Choice web site. “So, it makes sense that you should be the one with the authority to decide their educational direction.
“I am proud to say that Arizona leads the nation when it comes to school choice and the empowerment of parents to decide which avenues are most conducive to their children's educational success,” she says.
Last year, the governor signed a bill that created the nation’s first education savings account program for K-12 students. Arizona is, for now, the only state in which parents can not only choose a school, but also buy textbooks, virtual school classes, or even tutoring services with their child’s share of education funding. Other states are now considering these savings accounts as well.
Parents know their children best and should be able to give them the best educational opportunities available. Expanding education savings accounts will make that a reality for thousands of families. 
Learn more:
Arizona School Choice: Letter from Governor Brewer

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