(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Arizona Senator Carlyle Begay succeeded today in passing SB 1332, which will expand eligibility to the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program to all children living on tribal lands. Senator Begay bravely faced a great deal of hostility from his own party on this issue, but correctly noted in committee testimony that the state ought to be seeking every possible way to get better results in Arizona’s tribal schools, and there was no reason to expect a mass exodus.
NAEP backs this position up completely:
Congratulations to Senator Begay for leading on an important and difficult issue for the children in his district. Congrats also for the Arizona choice coalition that worked very hard through an especially trying legislative session.
UPDATE: Senator Begay stated the following in a recent column: “Serving in the Arizona State Legislature is not a popularity contest, nor is it a platform for grandstanding. I am here to serve my district, serve my state and uphold the progressive values that keep me moving forward.”
Two additional Democrats in the Arizona Senate joined Senator Begay in voting for final passage.