Dating back (at least) to Sen. Mimi Stewart’s infamous quote that “We don’t know how to teach kids from poverty” and more recent reporting about New Mexico’s high rates of absenteeism. You’d think there might be more self-reflection on the failure of a “free” school system to successfully encourage students to attend school.
Unlike New Mexico, Arizona is actually doing something to help poor kids stay in and succeed in school. As the chart below shows, the State’s Education Savings Account (ESA) program is disproportionately benefiting poor families. Will allowing students to attend a school of their choice improve student outcomes in Arizona? Their past record of being a leader in school choice would seem to bode well, (certainly better than New Mexico’s track record) but only time will tell.