The Gaggle podcast: Gov. Doug Ducey pushed a new voucher program to sidestep masks. Here's how it's going

Kaely Monahan
Arizona Republic
Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed all the bills on his desk awaiting his signature, 22 in total. No more bills until the Legislature delivers him a budget, he declared.

In August, when COVID-19 seemed to be receding as a health problem, and as public schools ramped up for in-person education lessons with masking mandates, Gov. Doug Ducey offered parents who didn’t like those rules an alternative. He said the state would provide vouchers worth up to $7,000 per student to those approved for a grant intended to sidestep masking, promote in-person learning and use federal emergency stimulus funds to do so.

Stacey Barchenger, who covers the Ducey administration for The Arizona Republic, has gone over the records to see how the early stages of the controversial new program are working out.

A closer examination of the program reveals that it’s not just the U.S. Department of Education, public schools across Arizona and public health officials who are unhappy with it so far.

In this week's episode of The Gaggle, host Ronald J. Hansen speaks with Barchenger about the demand for vouchers, how the state is doing at approving requests, the allocation of money and more.