AFC Applauds Arizona Senate Improvements to Empowerment Scholarship Accounts

American Federation for Children Applauds Arizona Senate Improvements to Empowerment Scholarship Accounts

The American Federation for Children applauds the Arizona State Senate for passing SB1224 which addresses badly needed improvements to the state’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program. After countless frustrating struggles between ESA parents and the Arizona Department of Education (including the department breaking Arizona state ESA law, extremely long hold times, and unreasonable deadline changes) parents are relieved to see the state take action.
The legislation sponsored by Senate Education Chair Sylvia Allen, and amended by Senator Kate Brophy McGee, gives more confidence to ESA parents when it comes to the future administration of the program by moving oversight to the Arizona State Board of Education. SB1224 also provides clarity to parents when it comes to their allowable education expense purchases and allows Navajo children to continue to attend the school that best fits their needs.
Statement from Christine Accurso, a mother from Gilbert using an Empowerment Scholarship Account:
“Senate Bill 1224 is a good solution to help ESA families continue to help their children find the education and support they need. I am grateful to Senators Sylvia Allen and Kate Brophy-McGee for seeing our children’s education as a priority and ensuring that there is continual accountability for each and every tax dollar. I also want to thank all of the senators who voted for this important bill today as it will not only help my family but I believe will help all other ESA families!”
Statement from Steve Smith, Arizona state director for the American Federation for Children:
“We are thankful for the leadership of Senators Allen and Brophy McGee as well as all of the senators who voted yes on this important bill that will help thousands of parents and students across Arizona. SB1224 helps correct the many issues ESA parents have been experiencing and should help the program run better for their children. The ESA program only serves kids who have disadvantages, most of whom have special needs, so this bill helps relieve some of the constant stress and anxiety they have been facing. We are equally happy that the Navajo families, who have been wronged, are one step closer to accessing the school of their choice permanently.”

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