Editor’s note: This article appeared last week on azcentral.com.
Over 10,000 applications for education savings accounts poured in over the course of less than a week, according to the Arizona Education Department.
As of Wednesday, the state had received nearly 22,500 universal eligibility applications, the Education Department said on Twitter. Arizona started accepting universal eligibility applications in mid-August, and the program was officially greenlit last week.
Those numbers show significant interest in the expanded ESA program, now the biggest of its kind in the nation.
The universal program provides families with funding that can be used for educational expenses outside of traditional district-run or charter schools, including private school tuition, curriculum, homeschooling and tutoring. The ESAs are expected to be worth about $7,000 per student, with some variability based on the applicant’s district school and student characteristics.
All Arizona students are eligible to receive funding. Before the program was expanded by the Legislature this year, families could only apply if they met certain criteria and, in most cases, had been previously enrolled in a public district or charter school. Families with special education needs, foster families and military families were among the groups that could previously access Arizona’s school choice program.
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