ESAs don’t save the state money.

Copy of work inprogressThey actually cost the state more.

Arizona can’t afford widespread expansion of ESAs, the voucher-like program that provides public state dollars to pay for a private school tuition. There is currently a bill that proposes to expand access to ESAs to all 1.1 million Arizona students in 2020. If passed, and if every student enrolled in a public school district transitioned to an ESA, the cost to the state in current dollars would be about $1 billion.

Since the program was introduced in 2011, Arizona has spent $99.7 million funding ESAs. Funding a massive expansion would require raising taxes or dramatic cuts to K-12 public schools and other parts of the state’s budget!

Below are resources to help better understand the impact of ESA expansion and visual graphics to share on your social media platforms.

Get the Facts

The Data: ESA cost to the state by school district and legislative district (Download the Excel)

The Basic Facts & Talking Points (download the PDF)

Academic Accountability: How do Arizona’s ESAs measure up?

  • Who’s keeping track of how well students with ESAs are doing?
  • The differences between district and ESA academic accountability requirements
  • While ALEC’s draft “The Educational Savings Account Act” included numerous academic accountability standards, the legislation introduced and passed in Arizona in 2011, which was based on it, did not include any of them.
  • A look at ESA bills now being considered by Arizona legislators.

What are Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts?

  • Who uses ESAs?
  • How have ESAs grown?
  • How much have ESAs already cost the state general fund?


Recording: Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts: How they work and the cost to the state general fund
PowerPoint: Download the PowerPoint PDF


Academic Accountability – How to ESAs compare? (Download and share)

What are ESAs (Download and share)

AZ can’t afford wide-spread ESA expansion (Download and share)

10 FACTS you probably don’t know… but you SHOULD (Download and share)

Vouchers don’t save money (Download and share)

In the Media

Our View: Why are Arizona lawmakers bleeding public schools?, Feb. 21, 2017

School-voucher expansion could cost Arizona $24M a year or more, Feb. 17, 2017

Arizona Senate To Vote On Private School Voucher Legislation This Week
KJZZ, Feb. 20, 2017

Arizona school-choice plan falls short on taxpayer saving
12News, Feb. 13, 2017

Proposal To Expand School-Voucher Bill Stirs Debate
KJZZ, Feb. 13, 2017