Arizona Expands School Choice to All Students
On Friday, the Arizona Legislature approved final passage of a bill expanding school choice to every student in Arizona. The first state to pass an Education Savings Account (ESA) program, Arizona is now poised to create the most robust school choice program in the nation. Governor Doug Ducey, a longtime champion of school choice, is expected to sign the expansion.
Once law, House Bill 2853 would expand Arizona’s ESA, the Empowerment Scholarship Program, to all 1.1 million K-12 students in Arizona, while also incorporating other important reforms to the program, including allowing families to use ESAs for transportation and computers.
Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) program allows parents to receive scholarships for educational expenses, such as private school tuition, online education, education therapies, and tutoring. The ESA amount is equal to 90% of the state funding the student would have received in a public charter school, which was about $7,000 in 2020.
Statement from Steve Smith, Arizona State Director for the American Federation for Children:
“Arizona’s families are the real winners today. Arizona has long been a national leader in school choice, yet thousands of children still lacked needed options. Today marks another milestone and puts children in Arizona at the forefront of educational opportunity. We are grateful to the bold lawmakers and Governor Ducey, who fought tirelessly to put families first. Without their leadership, this victory would not have been possible.”