Alabama Leads the Nation in Educational Freedom in 2024

Press Release: For Immediate Release
March 7, 2024

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact:
Chantal Lovell, EdChoice | 989-251-8388

Alabama Leads the Nation in Educational Freedom in 2024
Newly Enacted ESA Program is First of Several School Choice Programs Expected This Year

Today, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the CHOOSE Act into law, establishing the first universal educational choice program of 2024, and continuing the nationwide momentum to empower families.

The Creating Hope & Opportunity for Our Students’ Education (CHOOSE) Act establishes a new tax-credit education savings account program that, by the 2027-2028 school year, will be available to any student in the state whose family chooses.

“2023 was the Year of Universal Choice, and Alabama policymakers showed us today that this isn’t a fleeting trend. It’s here to stay,” said EdChoice President and CEO Robert Enlow. “Leaders across the country have come to recognize that they can take bold action to empower families and give students a brighter future.”

The past year saw a groundswell of support in statehouses in favor of school choice reform, particularly through the establishment of widely available choice programs. Eight states created new programs with universal or near universal eligibility or expanded existing programs to include all students in 2023. With the addition of Alabama, there are now 11 states with educational choice programs—including ESAs, refundable tax credits, and vouchers—that may be accessed by all students, pending phase-in.

“The impact these new programs will have on current and future generations is tremendous,” Enlow said. “The data overwhelmingly show that school choice programs increase parent satisfaction, lead to higher test scores for both program participants and those who remain in public school, have positive fiscal effects on taxpayers, and improve civic values and integration.”

The program is expected to launch for the 2025-2026 school year, first welcoming students from low- and middle-income families, and broadening in subsequent years to include all students. Students who participate in the program will be eligible to receive ESAs valued at up to $7,000. The ESAs may be used to fund tuition or approved educational goods and services, including expenses such as curriculum, tutoring, computers and software, and more.

Alabama already boasts two limited private school choice programs, a tax-credit scholarship available to 54% of Alabama families, and a refundable tax credit program available to 6% of families statewide. The new tax-credit ESA program is the nation’s third such program, and the second of this type to offer universal eligibility.

In Alabama, 84.6% of students attend a traditional public school, 7.1% attend private school, 5.5% are homeschooled, 2% attend a magnet school, and .3% participate in one of the state’s existing choice programs.

As of this week, EdChoice is tracking 63 education reform bills in 25 states, nearly 80% of which relate to education savings accounts.

“While legislative bodies typically avoid enacting transformative policy reform in election years, 2024 is shaping up to be different, as policymakers are seeing that educational choice is overwhelmingly popular among parents and adults, supported by robust research, and legal sound,” Enlow added. “Alabama is the first state to take a stance this year, but we don’t expect it to be the last.”

To speak with Robert Enlow or an EdChoice scholar about the Alabama program, educational choice trends and legislation, or existing programs across the country, contact Chantal Lovell at, or 989-251-8388.

EdChoice is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to empower every family to choose the learning environment that fits their children’s needs best. Learn more at