Former Vice President Mike Pence Visits Phoenix to Celebrate Universal School Choice

Former Vice President Mike Pence Visits Phoenix to Celebrate Universal School Choice

By Corinne Murdock |

On Tuesday, former Vice President Mike Pence came to Phoenix to celebrate Arizona’s universal school choice.

Pence attended a forum hosted by the Club for Growth, a conservative nonprofit based out of Washington, D.C. The forum was the third in their “National Campaign for School Freedom” series. Pence praised Ducey for making universal school choice possible. He predicted that universal school choice would be the standard for all states.

“I don’t think you can overstate or over-commend the leadership of Governor Doug Ducey in creating universal school choice in America for the first time,” said Pence. 

Ducey also spoke at the event, explaining that the experiences of parents and students throughout the pandemic accelerated the growth in support for school choice. Ducey stated that it took 8 years to achieve universal school choice. He thanked activists who pushed for school choice expansion, including the Black Mothers Forum and Love Your School founder Jenny Clark. 

Ducey compared the refusal of school choice opponents’ refusal to empower families with educational freedom to the refusal of the anti-segregationists in the 1950s.

“50 years ago, politicians stood in the schoolhouse door, and wouldn’t let minorities in. Today, union-backed politicians stand in the schoolhouse door and won’t let minorities out,” said Ducey. “These children are trapped in failing schools.”

That explanation by Ducey was backed by data presented by Chris Wilson, CEO of an Oklahoma-based market research agency called WPA Intelligence. Wilson explained that a poll of over 4,000 voters from last July to last August determined that COVID-19 shutdowns changed attitudes on public schools and teachers’ unions. 

Wilson explained further that voters had a negative perspective of the phrase “school choice” on its own, but adopted a positive view once a definition of the phrase was provided. He explained that those activists and unions opposed to school choice successfully branded the word “choice” as a negative. Wilson suggested that politicians adjust their presentation and terminology concerning school choice, though cautioned that there was no single “silver bullet” for phrasing.

Wilson pointed out that terms like “school freedom,” “school choice scholarships,” and “education freedom” had positive feedback, whereas “parental choice” and “school choice” had negative feedback. 

Wilson added that advancing school choice requires identifying the right opponents and avoiding rhetoric around the wrong ones. 

READ THE FULL SCHOOL CHOICE POLLING REPORT

Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters also came to the event. Masters discussed how he and his wife chose homeschooling for their children. Masters derided modern education for prioritizing equity-based curricula like the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory (CRT). 

“That feeling of being in charge of your child’s education, that is a feeling that I wish for every parent in this state and every parent in this country,” stated Masters. “When parents are left free to choose — surprise, surprise — parents will choose reading, and writing, and arithmetic, and history. Guess what they won’t choose? Critical race theory, are you kidding me?”

The forum also featured several testimonies from young adults and their families who benefited from school choice.

Saturday is the deadline to apply for universal school choice through the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) Program.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

ESA Signature Blunder Shows There’s No Math Quite Like ‘Save Our Schools’ Math

ESA Signature Blunder Shows There’s No Math Quite Like ‘Save Our Schools’ Math

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

What’s the difference between 141,714 and 88,866? Take a few seconds to do the math, and feel free to use a calculator if you’d like.

If you answered 52,848, you’re correct! Congratulations and give yourself a pat on the back because your math skills are far superior to those of Save Our Schools (SOS) and the rest of Arizona’s teachers’ unions.

On Friday, SOS Executive Director Beth Lewis boldly proclaimed—with all the confidence in the world—that the wall of boxes she was standing in front of contained the signatures of 141,714 Arizona voters who supported a ballot initiative aimed at overturning universal Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) in Arizona. She was giddy. Her supporters cheered. SOS declared blocking universal school choice for all a “historic victory.” And corporate media jumped on the opportunity to push their narrative, accepting everything SOS said at face value. 

But there was a problem. And that’s where simple math comes into play…

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The Decline to Sign Movement to Defend School Choice Is the Perfect Example of How to Fight Back

The Decline to Sign Movement to Defend School Choice Is the Perfect Example of How to Fight Back

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

Save Our Schools Arizona is clearly frustrated in its mission to stop families from having the freedom of school choice. For a few months now, the group has been gathering signatures throughout Arizona for a ballot initiative aimed at overturning universal Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA). You know…the law that was passed this summer to ensure every child gets the education they deserve. The one that even some Democrats and prominent black leaders like Pastor Drew Anderson fought for. The law that actually saves taxpayers money and was so popular that its launch overwhelmed the Arizona Department of Education’s website!

That’s what Save Our Schools is fighting against. And they likely thought their efforts to deceive the public about the nature of ESAs would go uncontested. But they were wrong.

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