For immediate release: November 28, 2023
Contact: [email protected]
Horne fires back at Save Our Schools for pattern of lying about ESA purchases
Also pushes back on criticism of him for fighting antisemitism in area high school
PHOENIX – State schools superintendent Tom Horne is refuting a series of lies being spread by Save Our Schools, saying the organization is using deceptive tactics to lie about Empowerment Scholarship Account reimbursements and Horne’s support for Jewish public school students.
Horne stated, “Contrary to a falsified document tweeted by Save Our Schools, no ESA parent has been reimbursed $500 to buy Legos. To be clear, district, charter and ESA students are allowed to use Legos. The issue here is a pattern of lying. Save Our Schools admitted they fabricated a document to make it look like a parent made a $500 purchase when she did not. By doing so they have misled both the Governor and a prominent newspaper columnist, both of whom have retweeted this lie.”
A screenshot from an X (formerly Twitter) post is attached and shows the communications person for Save Our Schools acknowledging the post was fabricated.
He continued, “This is a longstanding pattern by Save Our Schools. They continue to say that outlandish purchases such as trips to Disney parks, personal vacations, food items, ocean cruises and the like are being approved as ESA expenses when they are not. The interesting thing is that Save Our Schools not only lied and fabricated but turned the actual facts on their head. Approvals like those came during the prior superintendent’s administration led by a friend of the leader of Save Our Schools, and one of my first acts in office was to put an end to it.”
Horne added, “Just days ago when the communications manager for Save Our Schools spoke before a legislative committee regarding ESAs, he failed to identify himself as a paid employee of that group. He is entitled to speak, but omitting the fact he is paid to espouse views opposing the ESA program is another deception.”
He proceeded, “As bad as this is, Save Our Schools has gone even further by retweeting a heavily biased news article that characterizes my opposition to antisemitic material being disseminated at a high school club as a ‘lie’. To call that a lie you must demolish the truth to push a pro-Hamas one-sided antisemitic agenda, which is what the New Times reporter did.
Jewish parents came to me and said their students had experienced hatred and were afraid to go to school because a one-sided pro-Hamas presentation created antisemitic attitudes among some impressionable students. To call me a liar for standing up for their point of view is to call those Jewish students and their parents liars - a reprehensible slur. These are public school students and Save Our Schools should be thoroughly ashamed for not standing against hatred and antisemitism, especially in the classroom.”
Horne concluded, “Parents have the fundamental right to choose the school that best fits the needs of their children. Options such as charter schools, open enrollment and the ESA program are practical expressions of the value of school choice. Since the vast majority of Arizona parents (including myself) select to send their children to a neighborhood public school, lies and deception are obviously not needed to show support for public schools. Yet Save Our Schools continues to resort to shameful tactics again and again.”
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