Arizona Bill Gives Parents Choice Where to Send Children

The state’s program will be the most expansive of its kind in the nation.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Arizona lawmakers have passed a bill to enact the nation’s most expansive school voucher program, allowing parents more control over where their children receive an education.
  • The bill gives families the option to take their children out of public school and allows the funding to follow them to another education institution via an education savings account.
  • The program expands the existing Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program, growing the number of students who can use the accounts from 10 thousand to more than 1 million.
  • Previously, only students who were disabled, in failing schools or part of military families could access the accounts.
  • The bill passed the state Hosue and Senate last week and Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has indicated that he will sign it into law.
EDUCATION POLICY EXPERT’S STATEMENT:
  • “This legislation is the most robust expansion of educational freedom in the nation,” Goldwater Institute director of education policy Matt Beienburg told the Washington Free Beacon.
  • “It guarantees every Arizona student, whether they are coming from public school, private school, or homeschooling, the opportunity to join the ESA program and receive their share of state funding to pursue any educational opportunity that best needs their needs.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Arizona families who are part of the ESA program have traditionally received more than $6,500 per year to fund their children’s private school, homeschooling, or other educational services. 
  • In 2011, Arizona became the first state to enact the education savings accounts, and since that time seven other states have followed suit.