Arizona families won big last week when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the state’s school choice program, the Arizona Private School Tuition Tax Credit program. This week, Arizona students and families have another reason to celebrate. Arizona just created education savings accounts (ESAs) for special-needs students, providing families with more options when it comes to educating their children.
This groundbreaking reform, signed into law on Tuesday by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R), represents a bounding leap forward. Under the plan, families with special-needs children can opt to receive 90 percent of state per-pupil expenditures in their education savings account, which they can use on a variety of education options. ESAs may be one of the best paths forward on school choice: Not only do they allow state education funding to follow the child—instead of going automatically to the neighborhood public school—but they permit the funding to be used for a wide range of educational options.