How Republicans are leveraging the debate over school reopenings to expand school vouchers
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Two years ago, Arizona voters rejected a GOP law to expand the state’s school voucher-style program. Despite that rejection, and against the backdrop of at-home learning in the era of the pandemic, Arizona’s Republicans are once again trying to dramatically expand the program. 

This year, the Arizona Senate voted not just to expand the voucher system. In fact, SB 1452 is even larger than the expansion that was repealed by voters. Under the proposed legislation, two thirds of Arizona’s 1.1 million public-school students would qualify for the program, which lets parents spend public money on private and religious schooling. 

The bill comes as many parents are frustrated following months of at-home education or hybrid learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Republicans are leveraging that frustration to advocate for private schools, many of which have re-opened for in-person learning to some degree.

In this week’s episode of The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast, host Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen talk to education reporter Lily Altavena and data reporter Rob O’Dell about the politics of school re-opening and school vouchers. The team discusses where in-person education stands in Arizona, what Republicans are proposing and how that would shape education for students and parents alike.

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