State budget expands student access to new educational options

Originally published on July 6, 2021 on Chamber Business News.

The fiscal year 2022 state budget adopted by lawmakers last week and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey contains provisions that will expand access to schools of choice for Arizona’s K-12 students, achieving goals established by education advocates and the governor at the outset of the legislative session. 

“We applaud Governor Doug Ducey for his bold leadership during the legislative session with a robust K-12 education agenda prioritizing students, empowering families, and focusing on proven community-driven models and new ways of learning that are creating meaningful change,” said Emily Anne Gullickson, president of Great Leaders, Strong Schools, a group that advocates for increasing students’ access to high-quality schools.

Ducey in January identified a lack of transportation as a barrier to students’ ability to access school choice. As part of his administration’s “Arizona Resilient” policy statements, which outlined his priorities for the legislative session, Ducey said, “We should start with thinking outside the box to remove one of the greatest barriers to accessing school choice — transportation. Afterall, a choice is only a choice if you can get there, and unfortunately, those with the greatest hurdles to getting there are in our low income neighborhoods.” 

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