BLOG: Bureaucratic Bullying in Arizona

From the American Federation for Children’s official blog, School Choice Now!

Earlier this year, teachers unions and the education establishment jumped on the anti-bullying bandwagon with gusto, and for good reason. The rationale behind the anti-bullying movement is rational: making sure that children and their parents are safe, secure, comfortable, and free to learn. It’s hard to disagree with the sentiment, right?

But this week, the unions themselves became the bullies, in a big way.

In Arizona, the teacher-funded Arizona Education Association (AEA) and the taxpayer-funded Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) filed a lawsuit to remove more than 100 children with special needs from the private schools of their parents’ choice.

What did these children with special needs do to deserve a lawsuit? Their parents decided to apply for an Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA), allowing them to tap into their own tax dollars to send their children to private schools (or other educational settings) that best meet their children’s needs. ESAs are “outplacements,” the process by which school district officials send children with disabilities to receive services from qualified private providers. Except with ESAs, parents—not bureaucrats—select the outplacement. And so, given their top-down mentality about educating kids, and their fear of empowered parents, the AEA and the ASBA filed suit to strip these families of their rights.

To read the full story, visit our blog, School Choice Now!, at