After several of our recent posts, we decided that it was important to define and describe what we mean by “ESA.” Maybe you are unfamiliar with the term or maybe it’s vaguely familiar but feels like education jargon. The definition here comes from a report called, A Primer on Education Savings Accounts by Jonathan Butcher.
WHAT IS IT?
“ESA” or “Education Savings Account” is an account to buy educational products and services for your child instead of sending him to a traditional or charter public school full-time.
WHERE DOES THE $ COME FROM?
Money is awarded per student and typically costs less per student (for taxpayers) than the cost of public school tuition per student.
EXAMPLES OF SERVICES & PRODUCTS:
So, HOW DO THEY WORK?
HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
OTHER COMMON QUESTIONS:
Who is eligible for ESAs right now?
How do they award money and make sure no one is stealing?
Does this hurt public schools?
Wait, can I use this for homeschooling?
Do people participating say ESAs are working well?
Are these kids learning anything?
Umm… can I save the money if I don’t use it?
THIS REPORT & THESE FAQS ANSWERS All of these ?s AND MORE!
SELL ME ON IT:
Some families are satisfied with a student’s assigned school, and there is no requirement that parents use an ESA if they do not want to. But for students struggling with their coursework or any number of other situations in which parents want to choose how and where a child learns, the accounts can help parents access an educational environment as unique as their child. Every child should have such an opportunity.