Arizona Supreme Court: Voters should decide whether to expand school vouchers

Arizona voters will get the last word on expanding a program that gives parents taxpayer money to send their children to private and parochial schools.

Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services reported the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that voucher supporters have no legal right to challenge the petitions seeking to block the expansion.

That means their claims about irregularities in the signature gathering process, even if true, are legally irrelevant, Fischer said.

Voucher supporters will need to now make their case to the voters in November. But they could have an uphill fight amid increased public concern about whether money needed for public education — including teacher salaries — is being diverted to private schools.

Capitol Media Services says strong turnout by those opposed to vouchers could have political ripples, with those who go to the polls to kill the voucher expansion potentially also deciding to vote against those who approved the measure in the first place. Challengers argued there were a series of irregularities in petition gathering process.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed the expansion into law earlier this year.

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