Gov. Jan Brewer is poised to expand one of the most liberty-enhancing education reforms in U.S. history, the latest step in her growing legacy of meaningful education reform.
Last year, Gov. Brewer’s signature created the nation’s first education savings account program for K-12 students, which allows parents to use state funds to customize their child’s education. With these savings accounts, the state deposits 90 percent of a student’s per pupil funding in a private account managed by her parents. Parents can use the funds for private school tuition, tutoring services, online classes, and textbooks, as well as several other educational services. Families can also save the funds for college tuition.
Under current law, students with special needs are eligible for the accounts. The proposed expansion now on the governor’s desk would extend eligibility to 94,000 students in chronically failing public schools, as well as academically gifted students and students in military families.
This will more than triple the number of students eligible to participate, to more than 300,000. And each participating student costs taxpayers less than the cost to send a student to a regular public school.
Gov. Brewer enacted the savings accounts last year, enhancing Arizona’s reputation as the nation’s leader in education reform. She continued to lead bold reforms this year, doubling the amount individuals can contribute to private school scholarship organizations under the state’s scholarship tax credit law.
Gov. Brewer has proved she is committed to school choice and will make it one of the cornerstones of her agenda. The following is from her school-choice website:
It remains my priority to expand school choice and enhance the role of parents in their children's education. I am proud to say that Arizona leads the nation when it comes to school choice and the empowerment of parents to decide which avenues are most conducive to their children's educational success.
By signing the bill on her desk now, she’ll cement her place in Arizona education reform history.
AZ.gov: Arizona School Choice website
Goldwater Institute: Education Savings Accounts: Questions and Answers
Goldwater Institute: Education Savings Accounts Extend Hope, Opportunities