The Arizona GOP’s Long-Running Plan To Privatize Education. Karen McClelland and Steve Williamson welcome Nicky Indicavitch, Statewide Outreach Director of Save Our Schools Arizona and a self-described angry mother, to discuss why Arizona ranks dead last in per pupil funding.
“I have kids in Arizona public schools, so it’s personal for me,” says Indicavitch. She explains Save Our Schools began in 2017 after the Arizona State Legislature voted for a major expansion of vouchers for private schools. “We recognized early on in those days that that bill was going to be extremely dangerous for our public schools here in Arizona. So, we referred it. We gathered signatures to send it to the ballot in the ‘No on 305’ campaign and we won that initiative. We stopped the voucher expansion.” But, knowing that the Republican-controlled legislature was not done with its attack on public education, the Save Our Schools group stayed together.
Indicavitch describes the group’s mission is to protect our schools noting, “It’s hard to track what these lawmakers are doing. They’re not open about the process of passing bills. They’re not transparent about the deals being made. We’ve seen a number of budgets pass in the middle of the night down at the capitol with no citizen input on those. And so, one of the things we’ve worked really hard at is making sure parents and teachers that are concerned about these issues have a place to go and a resource to better understand the impact of these.”
She goes on to say that this lack of transparency is completely by design – meant to make sure taxpayers don’t know what’s going on.