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Applications for school voucher program soar

PHOENIX -- The number of applications for enrollment in Arizona's school voucher program has more than doubled over last year.

The Arizona Department of Education reports it has received 2,479 enrollment applications for Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts for the 2014-2015 school year. It received 1,100 applications last year. Nearly 700 students are currently enrolled in the program that allows them to use public funds for a private education, tutoring and other needs.

Proponents of the program said the increase is due to a large media campaign and to door-to-door canvassing.

The program has been opposed by many education advocates who say it unfairly takes funding from public schools and gives it to private institutions that cannot be held accountable.

The Legislature expanded the program last year to all students from failing schools.

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