Senator Melvin was on the Buckmaster[i] show recently where he once again implied the state funds public education at $9K per pupil. This despite AZ Fact Check[ii] proving it false during his 2012 campaign and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee’s report that state-only funding per student has been less than $5K every year since FY04.[iii] In fact, Arizona leads the nation in cuts to per pupil funding since 2008 – almost 22%.[iv]
These facts are important because one of Melvin’s key issues is “universal school choice where every child in the state has $9K, which is roughly what we are spending now…”[v] Forget that a state appeals court ruled vouchers for private schools unconstitutional in 2009.[vi] With over $1 million students in the state, the total bill is over $9 billion, more than the state’s entire budget for 2013. This isn’t a bold new idea, it is fantasy.