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Republican Rep. Brophy-McGee Questions School-Voucher Law

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 5:50pm

A Republican state lawmaker is bucking her own party by standing in opposition to the Arizona’s newly-passed school voucher expansion law.

Kate Brophy-McGee is questioning the plan’s logic and its funding methods. She was the only Senate Republican to vote against the ESA expansion and now accuses fellow GOP lawmakers of misrepresenting the numbers used to justify the legislation.

The program was originally projected to cost $24 million by 2021, but legislators re-ran the numbers and found it may actually save the state about $3 million over that time.

Brophy-McGee says the fact that school districts have lost 85 percent of their state funding isn’t factored into that equation.  

“I am totally supportive of a parent’s right to choose the best educational setting for their child, but not at the expense of other choices and that’s what I’m afraid that this does," Brophy-McGee said. 

She says it’s still unclear how the funding formula would work and hopes a clean-up bill will be introduced to take care of a possible shortfall.

The law, which makes all 1.1 million Arizona public schools students eligible for vouchers to attend private schools — but caps enrollment at 30,000 over the next five years, is scheduled to take effect this summer.