The New Empowerment Scholarship Account Program (ESA) legislation, SB 1431, was signed into law on April 7, 2017.

This new legislation provides Arizona families with additional opportunities to choose where they want to educate their children using the tax dollars already allocated to them.

BELOW ARE THE MAIN COMPONENTS OF THIS LEGISLATION​

EMPOWERMENT SCHOLARSHIP ACCOUNTS

  • This bill makes every Arizona child eligible to enter the ESA program
  • Students will be phased in over the next 4 years starting with the 2017-2018 school year
    • ​​Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, children who currently attend or are eligible to attend a public school in a K4, K5, or grades 1, 6, and 9 are eligible
    • Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, children in grades K4, K5, 2, 7, and 10 are eligible
    • Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, children in grades K4, K5, 3, 8, and 11 are eligible
    • ​Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, children in grades K4, K5, 4, 9, and 12 are eligible
  • There is a sibling clause that allows the siblings of any qualified student to also receive ESA funds
  • This new law set an annual cap of approximately 5,500 new students per year eligible to be added to the program
  • Just prior to being eligible for ESA funds, students MUST have been enrolled in a public or charter school for 100 days
  • Low income students (a dependent of a family whose federal adjusted gross income does not exceed 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines) will receive 100% of their allocated state funding ($4,600 from a district school, $5,600 from a charter school and $4,600 for kindergartners)
  • Families with children not meeting the low-income student definition will receive ESA amounts that reflect 90% of their allocated state funding (90% of either $4,600 or $5,600)
  • The ESA program goes into effect on August 6, 2017. It is not known at this time as to when the new applications will be available
  • The ESA Department will begin funding the ESA accounts monthly in January 2018
  • Applications will be processed within 30 days
  • Students may not receive Tax Credit Scholarship funds AND ESA funds AT THE SAME TIME
    • ​Students MAY receive Tax Credit Scholarship funds until their ESA funds become available