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Arizona Department of Education projects school voucher enrollment to hit 100,000

A school bus picking up students
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
A school bus picking up students in Phoenix in September 2021.

The Arizona Department of Education expects enrollment in the state’s school voucher program to reach nearly 100,000 students next year, much higher than a forecast issued by legislative budget analysts earlier this year.

There are just under 75,000 students enrolled in the voucher program, and the Department of Education projects that will grow to 99,135 by the end of June 2025. However, legislative budget analysts in January predicted enrollment would grow to just 82,500 students next school year.

It’s not the first time projections have differed.

In May 2023, the department projected voucher enrollment would reach 100,000 students by the end of June this year. But, in January, legislative analysts accurately forecasted enrollment would reach around 75,000 by June.

The Department of Education’s projection for next year carried an estimated price tag of $864 million. In January, legislative analysts pegged that number at $825 million.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to an editing error, the headline has been updated to reflect that 100,000 figure is a projection, not the current number of enrollments.

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Wayne Schutsky is a broadcast field correspondent covering Arizona politics on KJZZ. He has over a decade of experience as a journalist reporting on local communities in Arizona and the state Capitol.