Horne Calls Out Save Our Schools For Lying About ESA Purchases

sos lies
A screenshot from an X (formerly Twitter) post shows the communications person for Save Our Schools acknowledging the post was fabricated.

On Thursday, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne called out a progressive teachers’ group after they admitted to falsifying information related to parents’ purchases through the Empowerment Scholarship Account program.

Horne is refuting a series of lies being spread by the group, Save Our Schools, showing that the organization has used deceptive tactics to smear Arizona’s school choice program.

Horne, who is Jewish, also alleges that the group has lied about his support for Jewish public school students.

“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,” said Horne referring to Governor Katie Hobbs and progressive columnist with the Arizona Republic, Laurie Roberts.

Roberts pounced on the scam by SOS, using it to once again call for an end of school choice.

“This is a longstanding pattern by Save Our Schools,” continued Horne. “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.”

“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,” explained Horne. “He is entitled to speak, but omitting the fact he is paid to espouse views opposing the ESA program is another deception.”

“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,” said Horne.

Horne claims that Jewish parents approached him and said their children “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.”

“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,” concluded Horne.

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