Right now, Arizonans have the chance to protect public education and oppose the funneling of public money to private, mostly religious schools by voting “No” on Proposition 305.

Arizona’s legislature last year passed a massive expansion to the state voucher program, which hurts students across the Grand Canyon State. Voucher programs funnel taxpayer dollars to private, mostly religious schools and reduce taxpayer funds available for public education. They also fail to improve student achievement.

If Proposition 305 passes, it would expand Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, a voucher currently limited to only serving those who have a disability or who are in foster care. Proposition 305 would expand the program to include all of Arizona’s 1.1 million students, regardless of need or income, draining massive amounts of funds from our public education system. Even Arizona’s wealthiest students will be eligible to receive vouchers to attend expensive private schools, while lower income students who remain in public schools will see their schools suffer.

Fortunately, Arizonans can make a difference and overturn this expansion on the November ballot by votingNo” on Proposition 305 – either during early voting right now or on Election Day, Nov. 6.

This is all thanks to a group of six Arizonan women – including public school teachers, veterans and moms – who created a grassroots organization called Save Our Schools Arizona. They successfully fought to protect our public schools by gathering over 100,000 signatures to get Proposition 305 on the ballot. If you want to be inspired by what citizen activists like you can do to protect public education, just read about these women.

Now it’s our turn to back them up at the ballot box. Voting “No” would protect public education by stopping the voucher expansion. Public schools educate more than 95 percent of Arizona students. They serve all students regardless of religion, race, sexual orientation and income, and they are integral to our communities. Public money should fund public schools.

Arizonans, stand up for our public schools: Vote “No” on vouchers and “No” on Proposition 305.