Everything From This Week

Everything from this week, in One post – June 5th, 2020

Starting this week we would like to try something new. Instead of just sharing individual stories on our social media pages of what we see impacting us, STOs and School Choice in general, we collected a few of them into this blog post with links to the full stories and a brief description.


A lot has been happening lately related to school choice all throughout the country, but maybe most importantly, Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts recently came under attack by Save Our Schools Arizona and other groups. After the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the collection of signatures for ballot proposals had to be done in person and could not be carried out online, the groups have suspended their efforts to attempt to severely limit access to Arizona’s ESA program.

In addition to our AZ news, we’re still waiting on a ruling from the Supreme Court in the Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue case that should arrive by the end of the month.


On May 8th the Cato Institute published their first private school closure related post. Since then, the number of schools that have closed down because of the economic effects of our fight against COVID-19 has grown from 11 to 52 nationwide. As far as we can tell only 1 school did not have pre-existing financial difficulties and 1 other school does not have publicly available information regarding their finances prior to closing down.

Several of the schools on the list have parent communities fighting to bring back the schools by leading fundraising efforts and some of them are still operational, although have cut down most of their activity to only serve pre-K and K kids.

If every student going back to school in September were to enter the public school system and previously hadn’t received any funding through tax-credits, vouchers, etc., Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom director Neal McCluskey estimates that the taxpayer cost of educating these students would be

7,042 x $15,424 = $108,615,808

(total enrollment) x (total expenditure per pupil in average daily attendance).

The private school closure tracker has moved to its new, permanent place and it gets updated weekly.

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The Center for Education Reform is holding their next “The Future of School Action Series Event” on June 9th centering around Catholic private schools. More specifically, the event is looking to be an honest conversation about why Catholic schools appear to have been disproportionately impacted by the economic downturn that the novel coronavirus caused and what we can do to prevent more school closures. Here’s the event’s description from their Facebook page:

The coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on Catholic Schools, most of which serve under-served populations and minority students. Learn what’s happening in both Boston and Los Angeles to improve the prospects for this critical option to remain open for those most in need. Register: edreform.com/covid-action/events/

In New Mexico we saw another instance of a school dedicated to helping and empowering kids, be brought back to square one on an issue that ultimately should be a no-brainer. The objectively successful Mission Achievement and Success Charter School (MAS)‘s efforts to expand their operation to accommodate their ever growing (and currently standing at a 1000 student) wait list had to be put on hold after a group started complaining about the noise pollution and potential safety issues the expansion would bring with itself to the Public Education Commission, the state authorizer for charter schools.

No independent body, including the schools insurer, local law enforcement or the NM Public Education Department Transportation Bureau found evidence for the school in its current setup being anything but safe and the Public Education Transportation Bureau has even “found arrival/dismissal to be one of the safest they had seen”.


And last but not least, the Arizona Department of Education came out with guidance on reopening our schools.


Chamber Chatter

John Courtis from the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce invited Rex and Caitlyn to be his guests on Chamber Chatter this week. We talked about how Yuma businesses can #ThinkYumaFirst and help local, low-income children in the community through the Arizona Corporate Tuition Tax Credit. Many community-minded businesses have stepped forward to help kids attend a school that meets their needs. If your C Corporation or S Corporation is interested in the credit, contact us by June 25th so we can submit an application on your behalf to the State of Arizona. Find out more on our website: https://bit.ly/2w6jA6U or call us at (928) 726-9470.

You can listen to the podcast here: https://bit.ly/2XzelbC

Left to right: Rex Pope, John Courtis, Caitlyn Pope



The deadline to Contribute to STOs for 2019 is coming up!

Although the Arizona tax deadline has moved to July 15th, the deadline to contribute to STAY and claim the credit for 2019 remains April 15th. A donation to STAY means keeping tax dollars in Yuma and giving students here the opportunity to get the education that best fits their needs.

https://bit.ly/2GlOEo8 #ThinkYumaFirst#YumaSTO#ArizonaCredits, #SchoolChoice



Cookies Everywhere!

Attention parents! After we opened up our applications for the 20/21 school year, we’ve have received a lot of calls regarding our website not recognizing when someone has already entered their login information. Please note that the application system we use is highly sensitive to Cookies, and works best on desktop computers and laptops. By clicking on the link below you can head over to our blog for help enabling the necessary cookies in your browser. As always, still feel free to contact us with any issues regarding the applications — we will do our best to answer all of your questions and provide assistance.

https://bit.ly/3dZ9ney  #YumaSTO, #SchoolChoice



Guides for Enabling Cookies on Different platforms

If you have been struggling to get onto our website’s application page, there’s a good chance it’s because the cookies in your browser aren’t properly configured. It’s definitely important to be cautious, nowadays cookies are everywhere and track us wherever we go, but they are also necessary tools that we need to make sure only people with the right credentials get into the certain areas.

Here are our guides (and a link to a blog post from whatismybrowser.com) to enabling cookies:

Safari: https://www.whatismybrowser.com/guides/how-to-enable-cookies/safari

After you’ve done these steps sometimes it helps to restart the browser. Make sure to often delete your cookies and if you don’t feel safe about keeping them on, just switch it all back off after you’ve completed our applications. Simple as that!

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions!