« States Can Use Part of ESSA to Increase Choice. Will DeVos Promote It? | Main | Which Arizona Students Will Take Advantage of Expanded Choice Program? »

Arizona Expands Education Savings Accounts to Entire Student Population

| No comments

This post was written by guest blogger Daarel Burnette II. 

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill that would open up education savings accounts to all of the state's 1.1 million students.

Ducey, who signed the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts bill April 6, would improve academic outcomes for the students. Previously, access to the money had been restricted to students with disabilities and students in low-performing schools.

Click for more coverage of parent engagement in schools.


U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos soon tweeted her support. 

But the state's Democrats, who are in the minority in the legislature, argue that wealthy and military parents that home school their students will swamp the state's system with students who would otherwise have been home-schooled or have themselves paid for private school, ultimately costing the state millions more dollars. 

The mostly rural state has struggled academically and financially in recent years and has one of the lowest school spending rates in the country. 

Under the  ESA's expansion, the average student will receive $4,400 a year, the amount of money the state would typically send a district for enrolling a student. Students with disabilities and poor students would receive more money than other students.

On the heels of the election of President Donald Trump and the appointment of DeVos—both steadfast charter school and voucher proponents—Republicans who control the majority of state legislatures have been pushing to expand the charter sector and the use of vouchers and ESAs, as my colleagues Corey Mitchell and Arianna Prothero wrote earlier this year

While Texas rejected a voucher bill this week, Kentucky passed a charter school bill in March last year that made it the 43rd state to allow for charter schools.  

Nevada's use of education savings accounts was rejected late last year by that state's supreme court on the grounds that the spending of tax dollars was unconstitutional.  

Check out my colleague 

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments