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How Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Help Low-Income Students

November 19, 2019

A new report reveals that children in low-income communities across Arizona benefit significantly from Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs).

  1. 100% Tuition Covered: More low-income families can afford private elementary school tuition thanks to Empowerment Scholarship Accounts.
    • The average ESA award covers 100% of the median private elementary school tuition and fee rate in Arizona.

  2. Helping Low-Income Communities: Empowerment Scholarship Accountsare the most popular in areas with overwhelmingly socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.
    • The three districts with the highest concentrations of ESA students in Arizona have child poverty rates over 38%–more than double the state average. 

  3. Helping Native American Families: Empowerment Scholarship Accounts are particularly valuable to families on Native American reservations.
    • On reservations, per pupil public school spending can exceed $16,000 a year, yet up to 60-100% of public schools there are rated D or F by the State Board of Education. However, the average ESA award for students on reservations is less than half of that amount.

  4. New Opportunities for Urban Communities: Empowerment Scholarship Accounts are transforming educational opportunities for families in low-income, urban communities.
    • In FY 2019, Roosevelt Elementary School District—the Phoenix area school district with the single highest proportion of D- and F-rated public schools—saw more than 100 students participating in the ESA program. 

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts are helping to give all students educational options that are geographically accessible and economically affordable.

Learn more in a new report from the Goldwater Institute and the American Federation for Children:

Education Savings Accounts Serving Low-Income Communities: The Impact of ESAs in Arizona



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