Signatures aim to derail private school voucher law in Arizona

Parents are saying they want more support for public schools.

PHOENIX - The eyes of the nation are on Arizona, and a major piece of the governor's agenda to expand school choice appears it will be stopped, for now.

It has been a contentious issue for so many parents and anyone following education in the state. The announcement is from Save Our Schools.

The grassroots movement says it has more than the 75,000 signatures needed to stop Gov. Doug Ducey's expansion of private school vouchers which was expected to go into effect on Wednesday. 

School choice advocates see the vouchers as giving families the chance to use tax dollars for private schools. But critics say the law is "welfare for the wealthy," and families with average incomes probably would not even use the vouchers.

Save Our Schools organizers like, Dawn Penich-Thacker, are thrilled with the support through signatures.

"This is the people of Arizona who spent their summers sweating on street corners and public parks to send a message to the governor and the nation," Penich-Thacker said. "The message here is people of Arizona want to support our public schools."

S.O.S. organizers say they'll announce an exact number of signatures sometime Monday, but have a large enough cushion to make up for any signatures that could be invalidated once vetted by the state.

They're expected to turn in the signatures Tuesday, which would freeze the new law from kicking in until voters can mark a ballot in November 2018.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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