PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer has signed off on an expansion of a school
voucher program that lets students use public funds to attend a private school.
The program established in 2011 was also expanded last year. Only students with
a disability, whose parents are in the military or who attend very
low-performing schools qualify.
Senate Bill 1363 adds kindergartners and increases funding for all students who
qualify for the so-called Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. The program is being
challenged in court.
Just 130 students got the vouchers in 2012 but with the expansions thousands
more could qualify. The new law limits growth to 5,400 new students a year
following Brewer’s approval Thursday. That growth cap will expire in six years.
The legality of the voucher program is being challenged in court.