By Daniel Stefanski |
An Arizona school choice leader marked the one-year anniversary of the historic policy going into effect in her state.
On Saturday, Christine Accurso highlighted the one-year anniversary of all Arizona parents having the opportunity to unlock state dollars to assist with the education of their children.
In a trip down memory lane, Accurso wrote, “One year ago today Universal ESA became available for all K-12 students in AZ. It took many different people to get this passed and signed into law, but it wouldn’t have come to life in Arizona if it wasn’t for the parent army that we built over the court of 80 days last summer!”
Accurso added, “We fought the teacher’s union and the union-backed groups, day and night. We countered their lies and misinformation with the truth, so that Arizona voters had a real choice in whether or not to send Universal ESAs to the ballot.”
The East Valley mom gave a shout-out to all of the parents and families who tirelessly worked alongside of her to make ESAs a reality for Arizona, saying, “I am still amazed at the grit and tenacity that so many of my friends have and THAT truly made the difference. To the 1,200 families that joined me and my family, THANK YOU! You have truly made the world a better place!”
The ”X” account for Arizona Women of Action echoed Accurso’s words, stating, “It’s a well known fact that Christine Accurso organized the grassroots effort called DECLINE TO SIGN. Through her tremendous undertaking, parents across the state were successful in thwarting the ballot initiative that would have destroyed #ESA4All. Many thanks goes to Christine and the parents who worked with her for saving the AZ universal ESA program.”
Accurso recently served as the ESA program director under the administration of Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, a Republican. Horne and Accurso were tasked with bringing the expanded program under compliance with the law and eliminating the significant backlog of requests left by the previous administration. She resigned her position in July, expressing her grateful heart “to have had the opportunity to get the ESA program back on track and functioning well.” She said, “I achieved much of what I set out to accomplish, but it is time for me to move on and pursue opportunities to engage citizens, especially parents, to fight for school choice and the other issues they believe in, for the future of our state and of our nation.”
Shortly after her successful efforts in leading the charge to keep universal ESAs intact in Arizona last year, Accurso wrote a piece for FoxNews.com, outlining how she and hundreds of committed parents had done what many thought was unthinkable. Accurso shared that she went online to track the group responsible for attempting to refer ESAs to the ballot, deploying herself and other parents to the locations where signature gatherers were posted to offer an opposing viewpoint to Arizona voters who were stopped. She wrote, “I quickly found that voters would look through the legislation, which was attached to the petitions, after hearing my arguments to find out for themselves what was inside this legislation.”
The influential advocate may have more work to do in the state – especially with groups trying to enshrine a right to abortion in the Arizona Constitution. After that ballot initiative was filed with the Arizona Secretary of State in August, Accurso posted, “Pro-Abortion Supporters in AZ have filed with the Sec. of State to put abortion on the 2024 ballot & make it a constitutional amendment. They need 383,923 valid signatures from AZ registered voters by 7/3/24. If you live in Arizona and want to help oppose this DM me.”
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.