A new start for Arizona families with education savings accounts
By Kim Martinez
As families in Arizona head back to school, some children are excitedly starting their year with a lot more change than most. Arizona’s most expansive school choice program, which gives families access to education savings accounts, is allowing hundreds of parents to enroll their children in the school of their choice for the first time.
Phoenix mother Jennie Rubio couldn’t be happier or more thankful that she is now able to send her son, Ezequiel, to Grace Christian Academy. Jennie is using an Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA), which is a state-funded education savings account she controls and can use for a variety of education expenses. Jennie chose private school for Ezequiel. Their ESA pays the majority of the tuition for Ezequiel’s new school. Jennie’s enthusiasm for the ESA program and her son’s new school is expressed in several posts on her Facebook page.
As new ESA families get started on their journey, the Arizona Department of Education’s ESA office is opening up the program year round to be able to help more families who are in need of school choice. Now parents can apply anytime during the year and if their child is accepted into the ESA program, that student can change schools during the school year if their parent chooses to do so. This makes ESAs more accessible to families and helps students get on the education path of their parent’s choice quickly and seamlessly.
Currently, there are nearly 3,000 families using ESAs to pay for their child’s education. To find out more or to apply for an ESA go to azed.gov/esa.