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Education Group: Voucher Law May Cause Teachers To Flee Classrooms

Published: Monday, April 17, 2017 - 4:53pm

Officials at Arizona’s largest education organization expects dire consequences for the state after lawmakers approved the public funding of private schools with vouchers backed by tax money.

The head of the Arizona Education Association feels the new law may cause teachers to flee from the classroom to the halls of government.

Joe Thomas believes the issue is a “political lightning rod” and the public is finally “fed up” now that more tax money can be used to expand Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. He warns that lawmakers will pay the price at the ballot box next year.

“They wanted it, let’s hang it around their neck and let’s bring in new people in the 2018 election,” Thomas said.

And where might those new people come from?

“I think we’re going to begin to see teachers who are ready to leave the classroom and move to the Legislature. If you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself and I hear teachers that are itching to do something,” he said.

Proponents of the new ESA expansion, signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey earlier this month, maintain it simply give families more education choices.