Message to the Hispanic parents protesting their children’s poor performing school district: Demand ESAs

According to an article posted on azcentral.com today, Troubled Phoenix school district: Murphy parents attempt to withdraw students, Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 12.39.31 PMa group of Hispanic moms marched into the Murphy school district offices this week and demanded answers on why their kids are failing.

Apparently, these frustrated parents from the southwest Phoenix neighborhood have been fighting this battle for years. Their biggest complaints include overcrowded classrooms and the overuse of substitute teachers.

One mom interviewed said of the children coming from Murphy District schools “they’re going into high school and they don’t even know how to read or do math.”

The dozen or so parents made little headway unfortunately during their protest. According to the article, their intention was to withdraw their children from the district schools but they were referred back to their schools to fill out paperwork by the secretary. They didn’t even get a chance to speak with the district superintendent. To add insult to injury, as they are trying to access the state’s open enrollment options, they are finding themselves on waiting lists for better performing public schools.

To these brave parents a message: while you’re boldly demanding answers on why your children are failing, also demand access education savings accounts (ESAs). The ESA program would allow these parents to withdraw their children, take the child’s state allocated education funding and pay for the education they want for their child. Their options through ESA would include enrolling the children in a private school, homeschooling or online curriculum. Using ESA funds, these parents could also hire and pay for tutors to get their child caught up academically.

Unfortunately, most likely the children in the Murphy District are not currently eligible for ESAs because there are three C rated schools in the district and one rated a B. Under the current ESA requirements, kids who are attending a D or F rated school are eligible for an ESA. So although these parents know their children are not learning, they are also not able to access the education they want for their children through ESA.

If these parents really want to change the future for their own kids and help all the other mothers who feel like they do at the same time, they will go above the superintendent’s head and go straight to their legislators. Tell them to make ESAs an option for all parents in Arizona. Tell them you deserve to have access to the best schools in the state and the quality of your child’s education should not be determined by the zip code you live in. Insist that your education tax dollars follow your child down the best education path for them. Take the fight to those who have the power to change this. Contact Senators Lupe ContrerasCatherine Miranda, Representatives Mark CardenasDiego EspinosaReginald Bolding and Rebecca Rios. These are the people from whom these parents need answers. These are their legislators who supposedly represent them at the state capitol yet continue to vote against providing school choice for the families in their districts. These legislators vote again and again to deny these parents the right to education savings accounts. Demand ESAs from your legislators and don’t take “no’ for an answer any longer.

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