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PHOENIX -- Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal is defending the automated calls in which he promotes private schools.

Phoenix TV station KPNX reports that Huppenthal's call was sent to 15,000 homes in poor-performing school districts in Tucson and Phoenix.

In the robo-call, Huppenthal explains Arizona's Empowerment scholarship program, which offers money to parents who send their children to private schools.

The Arizona Education Association calls the recording ``pathetic.''

But Huppenthal defends the call. In an interview with KPNX, he says he's the superintendent of public instruction not the superintendent of public schools.

KPNX says the call is part of a $250,000 media campaign promoting the program.

The call directs parents to the Goldwater Institute website and was put together by the D.C.-based Alliance for School Choice.

Associated Press,

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