You've probably heard of Arizona's Expanded Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) Program. It is now universal, meaning any Arizona K-12 student is eligible for ESA funding. ESA funds can be used for private school tuition, educational therapies, alternative education models (like Prenda!), and more.
It is important to note that there are several different eligibility categories. Unless you want to keep your student in public school or keep your student in private school and they receive financial support through the private school, any of Arizona's K-12 students is eligible for ESA funding.
First, you will need to log in or create an account on the ADE's website. You will need to provide the student's Birth Certificate and Proof of Residency Document in the Applicant's Name (parent/guardian applying). The ADE usually processes complete applications within 30 days of submission.
When you sign the contract, you agree to certain terms and conditions, such as using a portion of the funds to provide an education in the following subjects: reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies, and science. Make plans of how you intend to use the funds. Consider what you value, how your child learns best, and what they need and want from their education.
ESAs are funded at 90 percent of the state's per-student base funding. For a more detailed list of estimated funding, check out ADE's funding chart. For example, the average funding for students in 1st through 12th grade with no disabilities is about $5,200-$6,200, while for kindergarten students, it is about $2,900-$3,200.
The funds can be accessed via a Classwallet virtual account. The funding received is based on the quarter that the contract is signed. ESA funds do not constitute taxable income to the qualified student's parent.
Be sure to check out the Arizona ESA Networking group on Facebook. Also, check out the 2022-2023 ESA Parent Handbook and ADE's Parent Guide. If you are curious about starting your own ESA microschool, visit our ESA page to find out more info.