The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman's Vision of School Choice for All Children

Lawsuit Would Restrict Arizona Families' Educational Options

Thursday, September 29, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN—“The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice condemns the recent lawsuit – lodged by the Arizona School Boards Association, the Arizona Education Association, and the Arizona Association of School Business Officials – intended to block families of children with special needs from accessing the best educational options for their children.

“The Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program allows parents of children with disabilities to apply for funds to be used for a wide variety of educational expenses. In exchange, parents agree not to enroll their children with special needs in public or charter schools.

“Not only have the special interests behind this lawsuit acted to block families from accessing the schooling of their choice, they have done so by deliberately misconstruing the law.

“The special interest groups have challenged the constitutionality of the program by claiming the accounts are available only to families that enroll their children in private schools. This is inaccurate, as the law clearly gives parents the freedom to use funds from ESAs for a variety of services, including private school tuition, educational therapies, curriculum for home schooling, or payment to tutors.

“The Friedman Foundation commends the Institute for Justice for filing a motion to intervene on behalf of parents eligible for ESAs. We applaud the Goldwater Institute and other groups throughout the state that continue to advocate on behalf of children with special needs.

“The Friedman Foundation believes the heavy-handed actions of these special interest groups should not prevail over the right of Arizona families to provide the best education to their children.”

About the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, solely dedicated to advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman’s vision of school choice for all children. The Foundation promotes school choice as the most effective and equitable way to improve the quality of K-12 education in America.

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