“In 2018, Koch donors see Arizona as ground zero in their push. Doug Ducey, the former chief executive of Cold Stone Creamery, became a member of the Koch network in 2011. Since 2015, he’s attended the seminars as governor of Arizona. Last year, he signed legislation to dramatically expand the state’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program so that students can use taxpayer dollars that would be spent on them in public schools to cover private-school tuition or other educational expenses.
“Teacher unions, worried that this will undermine the public system, collected enough signatures to put the law on hold and create a ballot proposition to let voters decide in November whether to expand vouchers.
“Addressing the seminar yesterday, Ducey touted the measure as further reaching than anything that’s been tried in other states. He warned that, under Arizona law, if advocates lose at the ballot box, they will not be able to legislate on the topic in the future. “This is a very real fight in my state,” Ducey said. “I didn’t run for governor to play small ball. I think this is an important idea.”
“The Koch network is likely to spend heavily to support the voucher law, setting up a battle royal with the labor movement.
“Ducey introduced Steve Perry, the headmaster of Capital Prep Charter Schools, who has been traveling Arizona to speak in support of the law. “The teacher unions are unencumbered by the truth,” he told the Koch donors. “It is a distant relative that is never invited to dinner.”
Gene V Glass|
San José State University
Arizona State University
University of Colorado Boulder
National Education Policy Center
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent the official position of the National Education Policy Center, Arizona State University, University of Colorado Boulder, nor San José State University.