More states are giving parents the option of school choice, providing flexible state funding for their children’s education through Education Savings Accounts. 

Some say it’s a way to essentially provide school vouchers to families who need an option other than the public schools.

ESAs are spending accounts that parents can use to buy educational goods and services such as tuition for private schools, educational therapy, tutors and homeschool curricula.

In most states that allow ESAs, parents can save unused funds for expenses down the road like college tuition.

They allow parents to take their children out of public or charter schools and “receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted, but multiple, uses,” according to EdChoice.

The Daily Signal reports states that offer these unique Education Savings Accounts include: Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Nevada and North Carolina.

This year Arizona and Florida opened up their accounts to more students. For example, in Arizona, lawmakers widened the accounts so that every child in a public school will be able to apply for an ESA by the 2020-2021 school year.

“Every child should have such an option and the chance at a quality education and the American dream,” wrote Jonathan Butcher for The Daily Signal. Butcher is the education director at the Goldwater Institute. He is also a visiting senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation.

Critics have labeled ESAs a new form of school vouchers. 

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