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School Choice in Arizona: What Comes Next?

Tuesday June 2023


Doug Ducey 23rd Governor of Arizona
Dr. Oluwatoyin Atolagbe Executive Director, Great Hearts Christos
Matt Beienburg Director of Education Policy, Goldwater Institute
Nicole Stelle Garnett Senior Fellow @nsgarnett
Katherine Haley Vice President, Arizona State Board of Education (moderator)

The Grand Canyon State’s school-choice landscape has a variety of school models, policies, and student services that have been able to grow and thrive. The state already boasts a preexisting education savings account (ESA) program, a tax-credit scholarship program known as Lexie’s Law for students with special needs and those in foster care, and a vibrant charter school sector—and this year, it expanded universal school choice to 1.1 million families statewide.

Now, families and school-choice advocates face the imperative task of implementation, building on the years of progress made in expanding the availability of high-quality school and learning options. Already, micro-schools have begun to leverage public-revenue streams for homeschool families who might require specialized learning services, and charter-school networks such as Great Hearts have begun to diversify and operate “Christos” private academies.

What are the self-imposed policy restrictions on school-choice programs nationwide, including in Arizona? Will the supply side of school choice and the availability of diverse learning options grow in conjunction with parental demand? What are the barriers that currently prevent parents from effectively navigating the available choices and accessing ESA funding? Please join us for an evening reception and wide-ranging panel discussion hosted by the Manhattan Institute, in partnership with the Goldwater Institute. Panelists will provide an overview of school choice in Arizona and discuss ways in which Arizona’s universal ESA can live up to its promise for students and families.

Photo: mapo/iStock