Arizona House Passes Expansion Of ESA Program

az house of representatives

On Wednesday, the Arizona House passed HB2853, sponsored by Rep. Ben Toma, that expands eligibility for the Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program.

A handful of teacher’s union members and their supporters showed up in opposition to the bill.

HB2853 expands Arizona’s ESA Program, the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program, to all 1.1 million K-12 students in Arizona and includes other important reforms, including allowing families to use ESAs for transportation and computers. The bill now goes to the Senate, which has long been stalwart supporters of school choice, echoing public sentiment, including a majority of Arizona residents.

If the bill is passed by the Senate, Governor Ducey is expected to sign it into law.

Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) program allows parents to receive scholarships for educational expenses, such as tuition, online education, education therapies, and tutoring.

“Arizona has long been a leader in education freedom, and we are thrilled to see the Arizona House extend opportunities to all Arizona children today. On the heels of the Supreme Court fully affirming parents’ rights in education, all legislators should act. Arizona is proud to lead the way on expanding school choice for every family,” said Steve Smith, Arizona State Director for the American Federation for Children.

While previous efforts to expand school choice died because Republican State Representatives Michelle Udall, Joanne Osborne, and Joel John all voted against school choice, every Republican State Representative voted in favor of this bill.


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