By Kim Martinez
Year after year, victories at the Arizona legislature on school choice bills have been like surviving an Arizona monsoon season. It was impossible to predict if efforts to advance school choice would be buried in a massive dust storm brought on by the
opposition and public education unions, or if we would get thwarted by a microburst of unpredictable legislators. But Tuesday’s primary election changed the school choice forecast.
We have been a couple votes shy of having a solid majority that supports school choice in the House for a very long time, requiring serious hardball for any victory, big or small. Making even minor improvements to Arizona’s education savings account program has been a battle every step of the way. Trying to get a bigger ESA expansion
through the legislature, which would make the program less complicated for parents to understand and easier to implement for the Arizona Department of Education was one of the toughest fights school choice supporters ever faced.
The House floor always seemed to be the final resting place of the major school choice related legislation that died a sad death. Now this primary election has changed the weather pattern hovering about that
battleground. Several House seats, that weak school choice supporters once held, have been replaced with strong allies who will fight for the school choice options parents want and the access to any school an Arizona child needs. Even more gains are possible in the upcoming general election.
So congratulations to the candidates who won on Tuesday. Their upcoming work at the Arizona State Legislature will lead to clear blue skies and the sun shining on the faces of Arizona children as each day they walk into a school they love and that they chose.