Photo by Marcus Winkler
Here is more good news from ACSTO and the American Federation for Children.
Universal ESA Takes Effect!
It is official! The historic, gold standard Universal ESA Program is now law. Arizona will begin funding students, not systems. This morning in a Twitter post, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs shared a picture of her letter to Save Our Schools Arizona PAC informing them that their referendum to stop the Universal ESA Program will not qualify for the 2024 General Election ballot. Her office has inspected enough petitions and signatures to confirm the 118,823 signature minimum will not be met.
We thank Rep. Ben Toma for his insight and fortitude in getting this legislation passed and are grateful for all the legislators who supported it, and for Gov. Ducey’s strong commitment to Educational Freedom in Arizona. There are also many organizations and groups that helped make this possible. A special thank you to the Center for Arizona Policy Action, the Goldwater Institute, the American Federation for Children, and the grassroots effort, “Decline to Sign.”
Today, Arizona families have even more educational options!
If you are interested in applying for a Universal ESA and want funding to start from the beginning of the ’22-’23 school year, you must apply no later than TODAY, September 30! This is because today is the last day to receive Quarter 1 funding (July 1 – September 30). Please visit the Arizona Department of Education’s ESA website for questions about the ESA application process, funding, and updated information. You may also call the ESA Support Line at 602-364-1969.
As a reminder, the Universal ESA program does not change the Private School Tax Credit Program. We encourage taxpayers to continue taking advantage of the dollar-for-dollar tax credit to provide scholarships to students at Christian Schools. There are many families who will choose to utilize ACSTO scholarships versus the ESA program to help afford a Christian Education. Families are not able to simultaneously use both programs to offset tuition costs. They will need to decide which funding source (ESA or Tax Credit Scholarships) works best for them.
Thank you to all of you for your support over the years and we look forward to continuing to serve our Partner Schools, our ACSTO families, and our donors.
If you have other questions, please call us at 480-820-0403. We are available Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Follow us on social media as well!
And from American Federation for Children.
American Federation for Children: Arizona School Choice Now Officially Universal! The Q1 Deadline is today, Friday September 30th!
Today, school choice expansion became official in Arizona, with the Secretary of State's office announcing that opponents would not meet the minimum signature requirement to stop the program and send it to the ballot. Now, Arizona's Empowerment Scholarship Accounts will be available to every student in the state.
The American Federation for Children congratulates Arizona parents and advocates on their courageous fight for school choice, and we are excited to continue standing with them to ensure every family knows the opportunities that are now available.
Statement from Steve Smith, Arizona State Director of the American Federation for Children:
"Today marks the culmination of what thousands of families across the state have spent years fighting for. After several exceedingly challenging years with learning loss and grown-up politics getting in the way, the students have won. We are thrilled to know that all 1.1 million Arizona students will now have access to unlimited educational opportunities that school choice brings."
Read more here: https://www.federationforchildren.org/az-school-choice-now-universal/.
Universal ESA's may be used for private education, home-based learning, online curriculum, tutoring, books, uniforms and more! Parent legal guardians must have proof of AZ Residence (ie: Driver's License), Legal Guardian's SSN/Tax ID & DOB, and Child Birth Certificate in order to apply.
✅ If your child is in a K-12 student at any Arizona school, your child qualifies for the Universal ESA
✅ There is no income requirement
✅ There is no public school requirement
✅ There are no restrictions on type of private school (ie: secular or religious)
✅ ESA is approximately $7000 per year in the upcoming school year
✅ You apply once and renew your contract annually
✅ Choose ESA or Tax Credit Scholarship, you cannot use both state programs at the same time, but you can use them in the same year (Ie: You may use a Tax Credit Scholarship during Q1 but decide to switch to ESA later in school year).
Great news! Be sure and thank the governor for his support.