For immediate release: December 21, 2023
Contact: [email protected]
Horne refutes inaccurate claims about ESA spending and upcoming report
Governors office and ADE in discussion for weeks
PHOENIX – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne issued the following response to a news release from the Governor’s office making inaccurate claims about the Empowerment Scholarship Program and a report due her office:
Horne stated, “The Department of Education has been in contact with the Governor’s office for nearly three weeks regarding this issue. They are fully aware that we are preparing the report she has requested. Nothing is being withheld.
The report is in addition to the ESA quarterly report submitted to the State Board of Education and contains much of the same information. It is also a new report that was authorized in legislation earlier this year.
The frivolous ESA spending approvals occurred under the administration of the Governor’s friend, Kathy Hoffman. By contrast in the first quarter of Fiscal 2024 alone, this department reviewed more than 15,000 ESA applications, rejecting thousands that were incomplete. We also suspended 2,200 accounts because the child was enrolled in public school, saving $21 million. Also, the latest figures show that current overall public education spending has a surplus of no less than $57 million, proving the ESA program has not impacted the state budget.
Finally, and most importantly, Merry Christmas!”