School Choice Legislation
February 14 2022
“You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise”.Deuteronomy 11:19
Last Tuesday, the Arizona Senate Education Committee voted to pass SB 1657 that greatly increases parent’s ability to send their children to private schools, especially low income families. This is done by expanding student eligibility for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA's). It also makes improvements and eliminates certain restrictions for Student Tuition Organizations (STO) that award Tuition Tax Credit scholarships to parents of qualified students so they can attend private schools. The bill now goes to House Education Committee before being voted on by the entire House and Senate and then going to the Governor for signature.
Back in 2017, Arizona enacted SB 1431, the best universal Empowerment Scholarship Account legislation in the country. A well funded, extreme leftist group called Red for Ed came to Arizona from out of state and formed an organization they cleverly named “Save our Schools”. Paid petition signature solicitors were hired and the Prop 305 initiative was put on the 2018 ballot. A veil of deception convinced the majority of Arizona voters that ESA’s would keep teachers from getting pay raises, a contention which was untrue. Prop 305 vetoed SB 1431, killing this expansion of ESA's.
Now these same radical groups who fought school choice in 2018 are doing all they can to stop the ability of the least fortunate to send their children to private schools, the majority of which are Christian schools. 39% of children attending private schools are minorities. One of the speakers at Tuesday’s Education Committee meeting was former NFL Football player turned pastor, Drew Anderson of Legacy Christian Center Church in Phoenix. Pastor Anderson gave eye opening testimony by saying, “There were slave owners that didn’t want to let go of their slaves because at that time they were financially into those Black bodies. Well, here we are in 2022 and we have school districts that don’t want to let go of those Black bodies because there’s money attached to those Black bodies”. (See Video)
By letting the money follow the child, parents can choose the best possible education for their children without undue financial burden.
I just gave some recent history about school choice legislation. Now let me switch gears and talk about the history of those who helped form our nation. February is Black History Month. Last week I shared the first of a 3 part video series that renowned Christian educator Claire Morgan produced about Black history from her 2020 July 4th Camp program. Here is Black History Lesson 2 Video.
If your church is interested in conducting your own July 4th Camp for children K-8, there’s information about a training class for churches in this newsletter. Please share it with the appropriate people at your church.
Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it".
Paul Parisi Director-Government Domain
The purpose of the Government Domain is to mobilize Christians to create a culture of community involvement in the political process in our city, state and nation.