Voucher programs allow education dollars to "follow the child," enabling parents to select private schools and receive state-funded scholarships to pay tuition. These scholarships are usually targeted to students who come from low-income families, have special needs or currently attend a failing public school. Research has demonstrated that vouchers increase student achievement, boost graduation rates, and help public schools improve. They also lead to high parental satisfaction rates.
Education savings account programs create personal accounts that store a child’s state education dollars. With ESAs, parents can use education dollars to pay for school tuition and fees, textbooks, tutoring and special therapies and other approved expenses, so a child's education is truly customizable. Participating families are able to choose the best education for their children through multiple providers.
|State||Program||Year Enacted||Students||Annual Funding|
|Arizona||Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program||2011||4,660||$50,281,630|
|Florida||The Gardiner Scholarship Program||2014||10,153||$105,300,000|
|Mississippi||Equal Opportunity For Students With Special Needs||2015||356||$1,999,156|
|Nevada||Nevada Educational Savings Account Program||2015||0||$0|
|North Carolina||North Carolina Personal Education Savings Account Program||2017||0||$0|
|Tennessee||Individualized Education Account Program||2015||88||$0|
|State||Program||SGO Administrative and Financial||School Administrative and Financial||Academic|
|Arizona||Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program|
|Florida||The Gardiner Scholarship Program|
|Mississippi||Equal Opportunity For Students With Special Needs|
|Nevada||Nevada Educational Savings Account Program|
|North Carolina||North Carolina Personal Education Savings Account Program|
|Tennessee||Individualized Education Account Program|
Scholarship tax credit programs create new pools of funding so that children can receive scholarships to attend the private schools of their parents’ choice. Corporations and individuals make private donations to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships to eligible children. In return, the corporations and individuals receive a state income tax credit. There are 21 scholarship tax credit programs operating across the country, and research has demonstrated that these programs are positive for student achievement and save money for state and local governments.
Individual tuition tax credits of significant size can be used for a child’s educational expenses, including private school tuition, and help families choose educational tools they otherwise could not afford. “Of significant size,” or approximately $3,000 to $6,000 is key to ensuring that the credit is large enough of affect a family’s decision and ability to cover the costs of private school.