Arizona Education Department Fixes Navajo Scholarship Confusion

Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 5:40pm
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Six families on the Navajo Nation recently received alarming bills from the Arizona Department of Education. But state lawmakers have come together to find a solution. 

Initially these six Navajo families thought they owed the state of Arizona over a thousand dollars each. The families, who live in Window Rock, had sent their kids to a private school in New Mexico just over the state line from where they live. But they were using an Arizona program, the Empowerment Scholarship Account. Turns out that’s against state statute.

Stefan Swiat, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Education, said Arizona’s superintendent met with lawmakers to come up with a legislative fix.

“They do not have to pay back these funds, and by 2020, they can get back in line with following statute and attend an institution within state grounds using these funds,” Swiat said.

The error was discovered in a routine audit. 

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