April
8th 2011
Big Week for School Choice in Arizona: Education Savings Accounts for Colorado?

Posted under Courts & Independence Institute & Innovation and Reform & Parents & PPC & Private Schools & School Choice & State Legislature

Matthew Ladner is right when he says: “This has been quite the week for parental choice in Arizona.” Of course, as my GoBash blogging friend noted, on Monday a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upheld the state’s private school tax credit program — an important precedent. But Ladner’s statement comes from a posting primarily about an innovative proposal making its way through The Grand Canyon State’s legislature:

Yesterday the Arizona Senate gave the final passage for SB 1553, Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, the nation’s first system of public contributions to education savings accounts as a choice mechanism, 21 to 7. Designed to replace Arizona’s special needs voucher program lost to our Blaine amendment, the ESA program will allow the parents of a child with a disability to withdraw their child from a public district or charter school, and receive a payment into an education savings account with restricted but multiple uses. Parents can then use their funds to pay for private school tuition, virtual education programs, private tutoring or saving for future college expenses.

Could it really be “the way of the future” for school choice? If so, the future may be now. I have to give more thought to Ladner’s suggestion that the “ESA” idea soon should supplant voucher programs because of “a superior design.” Maybe you can join me in reading an in-depth Goldwater Institute report on the topic he co-authored with Nick Dranias. Other states are important, too, but I’ll be reading it with an eye on the questions: Is the Education (or Empowerment) Savings Account idea a good fit for Colorado? How would it work here?

6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Big Week for School Choice in Arizona: Education Savings Accounts for Colorado?”

  1. Educational Savings Accoun - BEST HIGH SCHOOL LİST – BEST HIGH SCHOOL LİST on 08 Apr 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    [...] Ed is Watching » Big Week for School Choice in Arizona: Education … Description : Yesterday the Arizona Senate gave the final passage for SB 1553, Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, the nation’s first system of public contributions to education savings accounts as a choice mechanism, 21 to 7. … http://www.ediswatching.org/20 .. [...]

  2. Ed is Watching » Hoosier School Reform Daddy?: Voucher Plan Advances, Bargaining Bill Signed on 22 Apr 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    [...] Arizona and Florida are two states that have been pushing hard for the mantle of 2011 education reform leader. Say what you will, Indiana is making its own case to win this year’s crown. [...]

  3. Ed is Watching » Wisconsin Makes It a Lock: 2011 Is Definitely the Year of School Choice on 28 Jun 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    [...] Arizona enacted cutting-edge “Education Savings Accounts” [...]

  4. Ed is Watching » Utah Lawmaker Charts Bold Plan to Empower Students for Excellent Education on 21 Sep 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    [...] to me like a more expansive version of Arizona’s new Empowerment Scholarship Accounts for special-needs students. While many naysayers dismiss the forward-thinking plan, the worst I can [...]

  5. Ed is Watching » School Choice Week Good News Trifecta: Nationwide, Arizona ESAs, Ohio Vouchers on 26 Jan 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    [...] Education Savings Accounts, the cutting-edge school choice program with a superior design? Well, today a Maricopa County judge [...]

  6. Ed is Watching » Tale of Two ‘A’s: Alabama Buries Charter Bill, Arizona Expands ESA Choice on 15 May 2012 at 10:54 am #

    [...] news for the end, we can celebrate yesterday’s awesome development from Arizona. Following last year’s successful adoption of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) for special-needs students, Grand Canyon State Governor [...]

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