Tag: Empowerment Scholarship Accounts

Arizona schools chief candidates debate vouchers, charters’ oversight and more. See related news here

| September 19, 2018
Arizona schools chief candidates debate vouchers, charters’ oversight and more. See related news here

The two contenders for state schools chief found one key agreement in a debate Thursday: Both oppose Proposition 305.

Democrat Kathy Hoffman said there is no reason for the plan approved last year by the Republican-controlled Legislature to make vouchers of taxpayers’ dollars available for all 1.1 million students to attend private or parochial schools, with an initial cap of 30,000 students. …

Republican Frank Riggs, a former California congressman, said he has no problem with the vouchers, called “empowerment scholarship accounts.” He said there is an argument to be made for greater availability. But not for all.

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ESA expansion would cost state more money

| March 1, 2017
ESA expansion would cost state more money

Bills to expand Empowerment Scholarship Accounts working their way through the Arizona Legislature would substantially increase costs to the state’s general fund, not save the state money as one of the bills’ sponsors has claimed, according to two recent financial reports.

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts provide taxpayer money from the state’s general fund to parents who opt to take their child out of a public school – a district or charter school – and send them to a private school or use other education services. Currently, 4,102 Arizona students use ESAs at a cost to the state of $37 million in 2017 and $99.7 million since the program was introduced in 2011.

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After six years, ESA program still vexed by financial accountability

| February 22, 2017
After six years, ESA program still vexed by financial accountability

The Arizona Department of Education is credited with taking several steps to provide financial accountability for the state education funds provided to parents who opt their student out of public schools, but a state audit says that’s not quite enough.

Since the program’s inception, $99.7 million has been provided on personal debit cards for education related expenses through Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. About 4,102 students currently receive ESAs, and bills before Arizona’s House and Senate would expand the program to all students by 2020.

Despite the improved scrutiny ESAs are receiving, examples of abuse continue to surface, like a parent who used the money she received from the state – money specifically earmarked for the education of her child – to purchase a big screen TV.

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What are Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts?

| January 11, 2017
What are Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts?

Some Arizona parents have been sending their children to private school, including those run by religious organizations, for the past seven schools years with Arizona taxpayers footing the bill.

The voucher-type Empowerment Scholarship Account program, passed by the Arizona Legislature in 2011 and the first such program in the nation, was initially introduced to cover students with special needs.

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Children’s Action Alliance urges public to voice opinion on ESA school voucher legislation

| February 23, 2016
Children’s Action Alliance urges public to voice opinion on ESA school voucher legislation

The Children’s Action Alliance is urging the public to voice its opinion on the ESA school voucher legislation which is schedule for a vote in the state House on Feb. 24.

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