AZ school choice families’ personal data released from AZ Dept of Ed

AZ Capitol Times: “Education Department blunder puts ESA parent names in hands of group that opposes expansion of voucher program”
Statement from Steve Smith, Arizona State Director, American Federation for Children

“The release of personal information on more than 7,000 families and students participating in the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program is reprehensible. This data has historically been among the most closely guarded in our state government until now. The lapse in protecting the privacy of these families was uncovered by a reporter who discovered that media and Save Our Schools – an outspoken opponent of the ESA program and educational choice for Arizona’s families – received a file of information on the ESA families that could be un-redacted including full names, email addresses, and even the disabilities of the children with special needs using ESAs. This is an absolute betrayal of these families and students. Under Superintendent Hoffman, who opposes the ESA program, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has repeatedly made applying for and participating in the program extremely difficult for Arizona families. On behalf of these affected families and students, we call upon the appropriate state and federal authorities to investigate the release of this personal and private information and hold the ADE accountable.“And for the families in Arizona who may be impacted by this breach – our ultimate concern is to always advocate on your behalf. If you feel concerned by this breach and need help or guidance, please message us at the American Federation for Children by texting “Hotline” to 52886.”