Education Savings Accounts Are Essential
- An education savings account (ESA) is a government-funded account for parents to allocate toward the K-12 education of their children.
- Parents and students can use funds to pay for a wide range of educational expenses. These include tuition, tutoring, textbooks, curriculum, test fees, therapies for students with special needs, and educational technology. Due to this flexibility, ESAs are the gold standard of the various types of school choice programs.
ESA Legislation is Sweeping the Country
- In 2023, states have introduced 124 school choice bills, including 80 ESA bills.
- Six states now offer universal ESAs: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Utah, and West Virginia.
- Additionally, this year, Montana and South Carolina passed new limited-eligibility ESA programs. Indiana, New Hampshire, and Tennessee expanded existing ESA programs. Along with Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and North Carolina, these add up to nine states with ESA programs designed to reach some students based on varying eligibility.
States Must Get ESA Implementation Right
- Effective ESA implementation is essential for families to be informed about and utilize these state-issued funds and to ensure good policy in other states in the future.
- ESAs increase the demand for more and better education providers. Education entrepreneurs must create more schools and education options, and existing schools must expand to enroll more students.
- The flexibility ESAs provide is crucial for this coming future of K-12 education where students don’t enroll in a single school but rather design a multi-provider educational experience.
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