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Parents, Teachers Going To AZ Capitol To Speak Out Against School Voucher Bill

Parents and educators will be at the Arizona Legislature on Wednesday morning to hand out donuts to lawmakers before they testify against against a bill that would expand the state’s school voucher program that will be heard in the House Ways and Means committee. 

The pandemic has limited the interaction between state lawmakers and the public. Parents like Rachael Clawson have called and emailed their legislators to voice their opposition to SB 1452, which would make nearly three-quarters of Arizona students eligible for vouchers, but they feel like those tactics haven’t worked. 

Now they're going to the Capitol in person to make their voices heard.

“We aren't messing around," said Clawson, a mother of a Mesa Public School student. "This is something that we feel very strongly about that we do not want public taxpayer dollars going towards private schools being taken away from our public schools."

Phoenix mother and educator Raquel Mamani echoes this sentiment. 

“In 2018, 65% of Arizona voters said we do not want a voucher expansion and we know that people of Arizona, the citizens of Arizona want our legislators to prioritize our schools," said Mamani, who has two kids in the Madison Elementary School District and is also a substitute teacher for the district. 

These mothers are also concerned about other bills including one that threatens to cut the revenue that will be raised by the new Invest in Ed income tax surcharge. 

They will join other parents and teachers in a weekly motor march around the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon to protest against these efforts. 

Rocio Hernandez was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2022.