GOP lawmaker questions school voucher costs

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A Republican state lawmaker is trying to figure out what  the real costs of Arizona's school voucher program. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A Republican state lawmaker is trying to figure out what the real costs of Arizona's school voucher program. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee is questioning whether the voucher program will save the state money. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee is questioning whether the voucher program will save the state money. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
She voted against the bill making all one million Arizona school kids eligible to use tax money to attend private schools. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) She voted against the bill making all one million Arizona school kids eligible to use tax money to attend private schools. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The original financial review said the expansion would save taxpayers $3.4 million a year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The original financial review said the expansion would save taxpayers $3.4 million a year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

It was billed as taxpayer savings.

But will it end up costing them in the end?

State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix, is now determined to find out the real costs of Arizona's school voucher program.

The Republican lawmaker is now asking for an updated financial review on the controversial Empowerment Scholarship Account.

State lawmakers recently passed a bill making all one million Arizona school kids eligible to use tax money to attend private schools.

[READ MORE: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signs school voucher bill]

The original financial review said the expansion would save taxpayers $3.4 million a year.

While the report warned their analysis was highly speculative, it was made public moments before lawmakers voted.

McGee, who voted against the expansion, says lawmakers didn't enough time to review.

[RELATED: AZ Teachers of the Year slam Gov. Ducey over voucher program]

However, she now says that that analysis didn't include key factors that will boosts costs for taxpayers.

For example, it didn't take into account kids from wealthier neighborhoods.

There are over 24,000 public school children in Scottsdale.

They receive no state aid to attend school. They are funded through local property taxes.

If any of these children choose to take part of the ESA, the state would pick up the tab and this would represent a new cost to the state.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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