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Hundreds of parents, children gather outside Arizona Capitol to rally for school choice

(KTAR Photo: Sharon Mittelman)

PHOENIX — Hundreds gathered outside the Arizona State Capitol to rally for school choice on Friday, including busloads of schoolchildren.

The rally was a celebration of Arizona’s School Choice program, which is a part of National School Choice Week, a nationwide recognition of choice programs.

Governor Doug Ducey said Arizona has become the national model in advancing school choice in education.

“From traditional public schools to magnet schools to public charters to private to online to home schooling, not only do parents need to know that these options exist, they also need to have as much information about them as possible,” Ducey said.

Ducey said the state has a goal of helping parents make decisions about their children’s schooling as stress-free and seamless as possible.

“There’s nothing more important than a parent doing the right thing and knowing what the right things are that are available for their children,” Ducey said. “And those of us that have kids in school know these decisions, the ones that are going to determine a child’s success in their school, college, or career…can be quite daunting.

He said increasing opportunity in education is a statewide priority.

“My concern is and always will be for these kids and the kids in our public school system, in the classroom, the local library and at their kitchen table, whatever option they choose,” he said. “We owe it to them to keep standing up for them and for their family and the choices that they make. Great things can happen when we put Arizona kids first in our state.”

The governor said it’s important to pass Proposition 123 coming up in May, which would provide $3.5 billion in education funding without raising taxes.

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