We are extremely disappointed in the Arizona Supreme Court ruling denying Arizona voters their fundamental right to participate in the initiative process. It would not have been difficult for the Court to grant voters both safety and their Constitutional rights, but today, they refused to do that despite the immediate availability of the E-qual online signature collection system and the ongoing rise of Coronavirus cases and deaths across Arizona.
The Supreme Court’s ruling forces Arizona citizens who want to exercise their Constitutional right to vote, their right to initiative, and their right to free speech to disregard facts and endanger their lives. We believe that is a failure of justice based exclusively on political bias.
Despite our robust start in late-February, Save Our Schools Arizona now has no choice but to suspend signature collection efforts for the Save Our Schools Act, a citizen initiative aimed at reforming and limiting the state’s unaccountable private school voucher program. As a grassroots, volunteer organization, we do not have multiple millions of dollars to fund paid signature collection, nor are we willing to endanger our friends, neighbors, grandmothers, brothers and colleagues wo make up the Save Our Schools volunteer network.
Instead, we are committed to the following:
- Voter protect reforms and limits to private school vouchers in Arizona, either through legislative referral or a future citizen initiative
- Promote and support anti-privatization candidates up and down the November 2020 ballot
- Continue educating millions of Arizona voters about the harm of privatization in education and the value in supporting public schools.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is an obstacle in our mission to protect public education in Arizona and to stop reckless privatization in our state, but we are an organization that has proven we can and will succeed against the odds. This ruling does not change our plan to support the public schools serving 95 percent of Arizona students and permanently reform private school vouchers in order to better serve Arizona families, communities and our future.
— Save Our Schools Arizona