Education scholarship accounts empower families with the freedom to pursue the education options best suited to their individual needs and aspirations. ESAs are state-supervised spending accounts containing a child’s education funds that can be used to pay for a variety of educational services. With an ESA, parents direct their children’s education funding to the state-approved schools, courses, programs and services of their choice—plus unused funds can be saved for future K-12 and college expenses.
Each student has unique needs and learns in different ways. Instead of being relegated to “School A” or “School B,” ESAs empower parents to choose from a full menu of options. A child can attend private school and receive speech therapy on the side. Another child can learn math and science online, English and history at home, see a tutor twice a week and save leftover money for future education expenses. With an ESA, education is no longer “use it or lose it.” Parents decide where the best values are and can direct their child’s funds in the most efficient way.
ESAs empower parents to evaluate the quality and costs of services to make the best educational choices for their child.
By allowing parents to plan for their children’s individual needs, ESAs create a personal approach to education, where the ultimate goal is maximizing natural learning abilities.
ESAs can fund public school courses, private school tuition, online learning programs or home education.
Families can use ESA funds for tutoring, therapies for special needs students, college courses, exam fees or instructional materia
Learn more about ESA Policy Solutions.
“Every student, regardless of their income or background, deserves to have access to a quality educational setting where they can grow and thrive. I believe we need to constantly challenge the status quo in education to ensure our students are prepared to be successful. Tennessee’s Education Savings Account program will provide excellent opportunities to students who need choices.”
“With the help of the Gardiner Scholarship, we were able to create a customized education plan for Nic. We found a licensed teacher specializing in learning differences who works with Nic in a one-on–one setting four times a week. Over the last year, she has been able to keep Nic learning, even as one technique seems to work one day and then not work the next.”
States with active ESA programs: Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Students using ESAs in 2020.
Low-income students eligible for Tennessee’s second ESA program.
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Cara Candal, Ed.D., is the Director of Educational Opportunity for ExcelinEd focusing on private school choice.
Tim Abram is the Associate Policy Director of Educational Opportunity for ExcelinEd.
ESAs empower thousands of families with the freedom to pursue the education options best suited to their individual needs and aspirations. Explore these policy toolkit resources or head over to the Opportunity Learning Hub to learn more.
Private education choice options come in many forms—education scholarship accounts, tax-credit scholarship accounts and vouchers. The following resources offer tools, research and analysis to help states expand quality private education choice. For more, see our education choice overview brief.
What turns everyday moms and dads from behind-the-scenes classroom helpers into bold education advocates? Learn from five parents who bravely fought for their child’s education… and won! We’ll explore how to empower parents in your state and how, by sharing their personal stories, these families opened the door to opportunity and changed the lives of countless students.
ESAs have emerged as a new and innovative way to provide parents with true educational choice. With an ESA, parents can direct their child’s education funds to the schools, courses, services and providers of their choice. Already, two-dozen state legislatures have filed proposals around this new policy. During this session, join our expert panel for a timely discussion of ESAs and find out how they offer unprecedented levels of educational choice for our nation’s families.