Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday a new program to help families in need of financial assistance for unexpected school closings. The program will provide up to $7,000 for their children’s education needs.
According to a press release by the governor’s office, the funding will be used for childcare, transport, tutoring, and school tuition, as approved by the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
“Every state should follow Arizona’s lead. If a Safeway doesn’t reopen, families can take their money elsewhere. If a school doesn’t reopen, families should be able to take their children’s education dollars elsewhere. In fact, families should be able to take their children’s education dollars elsewhere regardless. Education funding is meant for educating children, not for protecting a particular institution,” explained Corey DeAngelis, the national director of research at School Choice Now.
“Funding students directly and empowering families to find alternatives gives schools an incentive to cater to their needs. This kind of bottom-up accountability, allowing families to vote with their feet, is the strongest form of accountability that exists. This move is a step in the right direction towards freeing families from the clutches of the teachers unions once and for all,” DeAngelis continued.
As long as students meet certain income requisites, the Open for Learning Recovery Benefit Program will allow them to “access instruction that best meets their needs.”
“In Arizona, we’re going to ensure continued access to in-person learning. Everyone agrees that schools should stay open and kids need to be in the classroom. With this announcement, we are making sure parents and families have options if a school closes its doors. Parents are best suited to make decisions about their child’s education,” Ducey said earlier this week.
We’re making sure in-person learning remains an option for all Arizona families and students. That’s why we’re taking preemptive action and launching the Open for Learning Recovery Benefit. 1/— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) January 4, 2022
Ducey also stated that “in-person learning is vital for the development, well-being and educational needs of K-12 students.” He assured that the city government will work with school leaders to guarantee that children “can stay in the classroom and parents have a choice — always.”
Arizona continues to be the best state in the nation for school choice.— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) January 4, 2022
Parents and families know what’s best for their kids and they should have access to different learning options to fit their unique needs. https://t.co/rqZNLenzBg