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(LifeSiteNews) – Arizona passed a bill on Friday which enables the state’s families to use public funds to send their K-12 children to schools of their choosing, including private, religious and homeschool options.
Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, families who opt out of public education may receive up to $6,500 a year, per child, towards whatever school or curriculum they choose. Under this legislation, which expands the state’s active Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program, eligible students include any “resident of this state who both is eligible to enroll in a public school in this state in any of the following: a preschool program for children with disabilities, a kindergarten program” and “any grades one through twelve.”
An earlier version of the ESA program offered funding for flexible education only to children with disabilities, members of military families, and students whose schools were failing.
“Yesterday’s passage of the most expansive school choice legislation in the nation is a monumental moment for Arizona’s kids and families,” Gov. Doug Ducey posted on Twitter on Saturday. “Our kids will no longer be locked in under-performing schools. Today, their future success is unlocked. With this legislation, Arizona will now be the first state in the nation to offer all families the option to choose the school setting that works best for them.”
Yesterday’s passage of the most expansive school choice legislation in the nation is a monumental moment for Arizona’s kids and families. 1/ pic.twitter.com/Pe7S9rJ2XO
— Doug Ducey (@DougDucey) June 25, 2022
“Republicans in particular have called themselves the ‘Parents Party’ all across the nation, but in Arizona, the Republicans just proved it,” said Corey DeAngelis, national director of research at the American Federation for Children, in an interview with Fox Business following the bill’s passage. “The only way to truly secure parental rights in education is to fund students directly and empower families to choose. If you really want to be the party of parents, here’s the way to do it.”
According to the Goldwater Institute, the new bill is not hindering the funds or accessibility of the ESA program previously set in place. Rather, it simply expands the program so that all families are eligible for flexible education options. Homeschooling families are not required to participate in any testing to be eligible for the program.
READ: Nebraska becomes 25th state to quit disgraced National School Board Association
At least 135 U.S. teachers and teachers’ aides have already been arrested in 2022 for child-related sex crimes, ranging from child porn possession to rape, and these are only the cases reported by the media.
And, while the vast majority of teachers are upstanding citizens, we also know some are indoctrinating our children with the LGBT ideology and practices to "make an ally of them" at a wholly inappropriate age.
This is not acceptable, and must be stopped now.
SIGN: Congress must ban federal funding for schools promoting sex or LGBT ideologies among children.
With Governor Ron DeSantis already taking action in Florida, banning instruction on sexuality and gender identity by teachers among third graders and younger, it's now time to see a federal push to effectively end such meddling in the minds of our children.
Parents have a responsibility to defend their children from those who overstep boundaries, whether that's in the form of LGBT propaganda, pornography, or other forms of sexualization in schools.
Too often the media downplays what's at stake: nothing less than the innocence of our children, and sometimes even their very lives, as this grieving Mom explained in March.
SIGN and SHARE: Congress must ban federal funding for schools who attempt to sexualize children.
76% of the arrests of teachers and aides for child-related sex-crimes this year involved assaults on students.
Jonathan van Maren reports that while one California teacher was charged with aggravated assault of a child, another was charged with 29 counts of child molestation.
A North Carolina science teacher was charged with 27 counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and 28 counts of “indecent liberties with a student.”
Parents need to construct every possible barrier to more children being abused, and one important way is to stop groomers and potential groomers from discussing sex with children in the classroom.
It is a violation of trust to introduce someone else's precious child to the minefield of sexuality, and it breaks down inhibitions that are meant to protect our most vulnerable young people.
SIGN TODAY: Pull federal funding from any school that sexualizes children
We already know that drag queens, some of whom admit to grooming, have no place in the classroom, and that teaching children about gender identities and sexual preferences is wholly inappropriate, but it's beyond time we took action.
Thank you for signing the petition today.
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**Photo: Visual aid from National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)**
“Many families currently make financial sacrifices and shoulder the expense of private school tuition or paying for homeschool supplies,” the Goldwater Institute wrote in a summary and explanation of the bill. “These families are all currently entitled to send their child to a public school (at a cost of over $10,000 per year to taxpayers), regardless of their income. This bill would ensure that all families have the freedom to choose whatever form of education best fits their child.”
The fight for parental consent and involvement in education has become increasingly prominent within recent years. In September 2020, Trump advocated for school choice in his re-election campaigns. More recently, local school districts have faced tremendous backlash from parents regarding inappropriate content in school assignments. In January, Loudoun County, Va. made national headlines for effectively banning a sexually explicit book from the school system.
READ: ‘Gender fluid’ bathroom rapist at Virginia high school sentenced, put on sex offender list
After such controversies erupted across the state, Virginia’s Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a bill requiring parents to be notified of any sexually explicit content being given to their children and allowing for alternative assignments if parents do not consent to their children’s exposure to the materials. This initiative was part of Youngkin’s dedication to school choice.
This year, West Virginia launched its Hope Scholarship Program. Like Arizona’s new bill, the program is available to families at all levels of income and regardless of disability or military status.
Other states, including Missouri, also have scholarship programs in place, but most of them are reserved for students with disabilities or low-income families.
Jean Mondoro is an editorial intern at LifeSiteNews.