August 8, 2017 / Modified aug 8, 2017 4:17 p.m.

Arizona School Voucher Law on Hold for Now

Opponents of the legislation have filed enough signatures to temporarily block it.

Save our Schools petition The group Save Our Schools worked to gather signatures opposing legislation that would expand school vouchers in Arizona. (PHOTO: AZPM Staff)

PHOENIX — Arizona's ambitious expansion of its school voucher program is officially on hold after opponents filed enough signatures to at least temporarily block the new law.

Tuesday's filing more than 111,000 signatures kicks off a weekslong verification process where state and county officials will determine if slightly more than 75,000 valid signatures were collected. If they are certified, the law remains blocked until the November 2018 general election under an Arizona law allowing voters to weigh in on laws passed by the Legislature.

Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko backed the law and says she's concerned about parents who planned to use vouchers this fall. State officials say they haven't even begun accepting applications.

Voucher backers say they give parents more choice, while opponents argue they siphon money from cash-starved public schools.

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