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Arizona Bill Introduced To Expand School Vouchers, Move Oversight To Private Contractor

Sen. Sylvia Allen introduced a bill that would open up new ESA —  or school voucher — eligibility, effectively expanding the program. The bill would also move ESA oversight from the Department of Education to the the State Treasurer’s office to be managed by an outside contractor.

Opponents see this as a workaround to the rejection of Proposition 305, an ESA expansion that was handily defeated 2-1 by voters in November.

Allen has said her bill is about needed reform and not expansion, but the Joint Legislative Budget Committee has conducted an analysis of the bill’s costs and found that opening up ESA enrollment also means expanding the state’s ESA budget.

Jim Small, editor of the Arizona Mirror, joined The Show to talk about the bill.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.