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Week in Review: Goldwater’s Education Lifeline Turns 10

October 2, 2021

Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program is now 10 years old—and along the way, it’s changed the lives of nearly 10,000 students and their families, and the ESA concept has now spread to 10 states across America—helping a growing number of students get a customized education that helps them succeed. And the Goldwater Institute’s marking the decade of ESAs in a big way.

Pioneered by Goldwater in 2011, ESAs take a portion of the funds that would have been spent on a child’s public school education and deposits this money into a private account that families can use for tutoring, private school tuition, at-home curriculum, special needs therapies, and more. It’s been an absolute lifeline for Arizona kids, many who would have otherwise been stuck in failing school districts. Instead, these students can access an education tailored to their unique needs.

This week, Goldwater and EdChoice teamed up to release two brand-new ESA resources for both lawmakers and families alike. A Decade of Success: How Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Have Saved Students and Inspired a National Movement explores the achievements, impacts, and opportunities the ESA program has created for 10,000 families in the Grand Canyon State.

And our new guide The ESA Opportunity Map: Charting Empowerment Scholarship Account Eligibility for Students in Failing Arizona Public Schools and accompanying interactive Arizona ESA Eligibility Mapping Tool enables prospective ESA families to see if where they live qualifies them to apply for Arizona’s ESA program and the game-changing opportunities that go with it.

You can read our new paper here, and you can access our interactive mapping tool here.

Wisconsin Puts Educational Power in Parents’ Hands

Critical Race Theory and other radical content being foisted on children as the truth without parents’ knowledge. What’s the solution for better K-12 education? More sunlight, less politics. And states are starting to realize it and take action—starting this week with Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin became the first state to have both houses of its legislature adopt the Goldwater Institute’s groundbreaking academic transparency legislation. Based on Goldwater’s model policy language, and with the support of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), the Wisconsin State Senate and State Assembly passed mirror bills establishing parents’ rights to know what is being taught in their schools by requiring school districts to post on a publicly accessible portion of their website a listing of the specific learning materials being used at each school.

Wisconsin’s legislation now heads to the Governor’s desk. And more broadly, it now rests with state lawmakers across the country to bring the same level of transparency to the parents and constituents of their own communities.

You can read more about Wisconsin’s legislation here, and to learn more about what the Goldwater Institute is doing to shine a light on school curriculum, click here.

Mom Fights Back against School Stonewalling

There’s no question that legislation like Wisconsin’s is key to protecting parents’ right to know what their kids are being taught in school. Too many parents have no idea what lessons their children are being exposed to, and when they ask, their school districts simply stonewall.

One of those parents is Nicole Solas, a Rhode Island mom who dared to ask what her daughter would be taught in kindergarten. When she made public records requests to get that info—just as her school district asked her to do—she was hit with a lawsuit from the National Education Association. But with legal firepower from the Goldwater Institute, Nicole is fighting back so that no parent is prevented from knowing what lessons their child is being exposed to.

Nicole joined the Independent Women’s Forum’s “She Thinks” podcast to share her story and talk about what’s next in her fight. You can listen to the full episode here.

Color and Conformity in America’s Cancel Culture

In America today, cancel culture and identity politics are running rampant in the media, in the workplace, in communities, and even on college campuses. What can we do to stem this tide?

This week, political commentator and Color Us United spokesperson Christian Watson joined the Goldwater Institute and America’s Future for a special event to discuss how young Americans can reclaim their individuality, take responsibility for their own lives, and chart their own pathway for success.

This event is part of the Goldwater Institute’s ongoing series of discussions regarding the rise of Critical Race Theory in America’s schools and society, halting the movement toward Marxism, and how Goldwater is working to ensure academic transparency in the classroom so parents know what is being taught to their children.

We hope you can join us for another Goldwater event soon!



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