Phoenix—The Goldwater Institute reaffirmed its commitment to expanding school choice opportunities for all students after Proposition 305 went down in yesterday’s election.

The passage of Proposition 305 would have opened up the state’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program to all Arizona students.  Currently, the program is available to only selected students, including students with special needs, those who are part of military families, and those in underperforming schools. Governor Doug Ducey signed a universal ESA measure last year, but opponents of families having more options opposed the measure and referred it to the statewide ballot.

“Empowerment Scholarship Accounts help families create a custom educational experience—one as unique as each child. Unfortunately, school choice opponents were successful in denying this option to all Arizona families, regardless of income,” Goldwater Institute President and CEO Victor Riches said. “Across the country, ESAs have garnered the support of Republicans and Democrats alike because they provide a commonsense way for families to help pay tuition, provide tutoring, and purchase the tools they need to give their students the best chance at success in school and down the road.”

The Goldwater Institute has led the charge to give all students and their families the ability to build an educational experience that best meets their unique needs. The ESA program was created at the Institute, and since then, the Institute has worked to help give more students across the country access to greater educational opportunities. Following in the footsteps of Arizona’s school choice program, other states—including North Carolina and Florida—have instituted ESAs for selected students.

“Arizona has been a national leader on the path to greater school choice for families,” Riches said. “The Goldwater Institute will continue the fight to give students and their families a greater say in their education in Arizona and across the country.”

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About the Goldwater Institute

The Goldwater Institute drives results by working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and strengthen the freedom guaranteed to all Americans in the constitutions of the United States and all 50 states. With the blessing of its namesake, the Goldwater Institute opened in 1988. Its early years focused on defending liberty in Barry Goldwater’s home state of Arizona. Today, the Goldwater Institute is a national leader for constitutionally limited government respected by the left and right for its adherence to principle and real world impact. No less a liberal icon than the New York Times calls the Goldwater Institute a “watchdog for conservative ideals” that plays an “outsize role” in American political life.