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New Arizona governor wants to undo school voucher expansion

Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, center, is flanked by Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma, R-Glendale, left, and Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, right, at Hobbs' state of the state address at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on Jan. 9, 2023. On Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, Hobbs' office released its budget proposal, including her plan to seek a repeal of a massive expansion of Arizona's school voucher program.
Ross D. Franklin
/
AP Photo
Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, center, is flanked by Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma, R-Glendale, left, and Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, right, at Hobbs' state of the state address at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on Jan. 9, 2023. On Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, Hobbs' office released its budget proposal, including her plan to seek a repeal of a massive expansion of Arizona's school voucher program.

Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs wants to undo a massive expansion of a school voucher program passed last year by Republicans that lets students apply to use public money to attend private schools and other education costs.

In releasing its budget proposals Friday, the governor’s office said the expansion is siphoning money from underfunded public schools and would cost $1.5 billion dollars over the next decade.

Hobbs staffers estimated the move would save the state $135 million next fiscal year.

The expansion, one of Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s biggest accomplishments, extended the voucher program to every child in the state.