Contact: Lucy Caldwell
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ARIZONA GOVERNOR SIGNS EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNT EXPANSION BILL
PHOENIX, AZ – Children languishing in public schools that don’t meet their unique needs now have better options, thanks to legislation signed into law this week to expand Arizona’s groundbreaking education savings account program to kindergarteners who meet the program’s other eligibility requirements. The legislation also increases the funding available for families using the accounts to better enable parents to meet their children’s needs.
With an education savings account, parents can use part of the money that otherwise would have been spent on a student in traditional public school to pay for a variety of costs, including private school tuition, tutoring, educational therapy, and materials. Conceived of by the Goldwater Institute nearly a decade ago, education savings accounts were first passed by the Legislature in 2011 for special-needs children and have since been expanded to children adopted out of the state foster system, children of active-duty military parents and children in “D” and “F” failing schools.
Previously, children who met the account eligibility requirements were required to be enrolled in a traditional public school for the preceding school-year. Now families of incoming kindergarten students will be able to apply directly for an education savings account.
“Thanks to this expansion, more students in Arizona will have great opportunities,” said Jonathan Butcher, Education Director for the Goldwater Institute. “All Arizona children deserve a quality education.”
Just last month, over 1,000 Arizona families applied for education savings accounts for the upcoming 2013-2014 school-year. With the expansion of this program, nearly 216,000 Arizona children—more than one in five—are eligible for education savings accounts.
The Goldwater Institute worked with legislators from both parties, the Governor’s office, and other key stakeholders to draft and secure passage of the legislation. Lawmakers across the country are looking to Arizona’s model as they craft similar programs in their states.
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To schedule an interview, or for more information, please call Communications Director Lucy Caldwell at (602) 633-8986 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.