Weingarten Speech Tying School Choice to Racism Sets Off Firestorm

House Committee Rejects Democrats’ Bid to Restore Education Funding, Protect Teacher Training

How’s This for a Yarn? School Bus Driver Crochets a Personalized Toy for Every Student on Her Route

A Phoenix Breakthrough: How 3 Massachusetts High Schools Are Helping Dropouts Become College-Bound Grads

Teacher Groups Frustrated With California ESSA Plan’s ‘Loose’ Definition of Ineffective Teachers

The 74 Interview: You Don’t Think Your Child Is Average & Harvard’s Todd Rose Doesn’t Either

Interactive: How Far Every State Has Gone to Update Education Policies Under the Every Student Succeeds Act

House Republicans Warn Education Dept. on ESSA Overreach as Democrats Lament Lack of Accountability Rules

More Attention to ELLs, Student Suspension, Fewer Test Days: NY Tweaks Its ESSA Plan

WATCH: These 100 HS Grads Made a Splash With Pomp, Circumstance — and a Jump in the Lake

12 Rhode Island Schools Vie for Chance to Become Their State’s 3 Personalized Learning Labs

Teacher Raises, Bathrooms, Vouchers: Texas Lawmakers Take Up Big School Fights in Special Legislative Session

Investigation: Forced Into Unneeded Remedial Classes, Some Community College Students Fail to Finish Degrees

A Summer Education Meltdown: Why Everyone in DC Is Mad About ESSA, Congress, Charters, Choice — or All of the Above

This Week’s ESSA News: Science Test Debate, a Career Readiness Blind Spot, and Massachusetts Has Work to Do

House Subcommittee Advances Education Funding Bill as Democrats Protest ‘Anti-Teacher’ Cuts

DeVos Hears of Sex Attacks at Colleges & K-12 Schools as Feds Weigh Changes to Title IX Evidence Rules

The $1,488 Back-to-School Bill: Backpack Index Tracks Rising Costs of Supplies, Fees for Band, Sports, Trips

House Committee Considers Education Spending Bill That Trims Trump’s Cuts, Drops Funding for Private Choice

Turning Red: New Jersey’s Well-Heeled Teachers Union Backs Trump Supporter Over State’s Top Democrat

Video Explainer: Understanding Education Savings Accounts — in 90 Seconds or Less

March 6, 2017

Talking Points

Video explainer: Everything you need to know about Education Savings Accounts — in 90 seconds or less

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

In our continuing series of video explainers about school choice options for families (watch our debriefs of school vouchers, tax credit scholarships, and open enrollment), today we focus on education savings accounts — a six-year-old method of giving parents portable funds through which they can fund schooling, tutoring, and a variety of other services.

Four things to know about the history of ESAs:

1. The very first savings account: Education savings accounts were first created in Arizona in 2011 to help students with special needs. Under most ESA programs, families get a special debit card to pay for private school, online courses, tutoring, books, transportation, even counseling or therapy. 

2. ESAs for special student populations: Tennessee, Florida, and Mississippi also have ESAs for special-needs kids. 

3. Arizona casts a wider net: Arizona also offers ESAs to students who are in foster care, belong to military families, or attend a failing school. 

4. Nevada: Nevada’s ESA program is the broadest in the country. It is open to any child in the state who has spent 100 days or more in a public school. After a court challenge, Nevada’s ESA program was declared constitutional in 2016. But the funding mechanism was declared unconstitutional. 

Nevada is letting families apply for ESAs as the state tries to figure out how to fund them.


Related: America’s School Choice Map — 5 Hot Spots
Photo: EdChoice