Arizona

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts

  • Education Savings Account (ESA)
  • Enacted 2011
  • Launched 2011

Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) program allows parents to opt their children out of public, district, or charter schools and receive a portion of their public funding deposited into an account for defined, but multiple uses, including private school tuition, online education, education therapies, private tutoring, or future educational expenses. Learn more about how the program works on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, and more. 

In 2022 Arizona set the standard nationally for student access to private choice by being first to offer full universal funded eligibility with broad use flexibility for parents. 

We do not administer this program.

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  • 70,925

    Participating Students (2023–24)

  • 100%

    of Students Eligible Statewide

  • 398

    Participating Schools (2022–23)

  • 3,955

    Approved ClassWallet Vendors (2023)

  • 90%

    Maximum Account Value as a Percentage of State-Level Public School Per-Student Spending 

  • $7,000

    Estimated Average Account Value (2022–23, excluding students with special needs)

  • $9,523

    Average Account Value (2022–23, including students with special needs) 

Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Participation

Students Participating
School Year Ending

Student Funding

ESAs are funded at 90 percent of the state’s per-student base funding. In 2020–21, ESAs were worth about $6,400 for students in grades 1–12 who do not have special needs. State estimates projected this amount rising to $7,000 as of 2022–23. Students with special needs receive additional funding, and those amounts vary depending on the services the student’s disability requires. Because a majority of ESA students have special needs, the average ESA in 2022–23 is more than the statewide per-pupil average base funding amount. 

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

Student Eligibility

Students must meet one of the following characteristics: Is eligible to enroll in a public school in Arizona in (1) a preschool program for children with disabilities, (2) a kindergarten program, or (3) any of grades 1-12. 

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

EdChoice Expert Feedback

Arizona’s ESA program is now the most expansive program in the nation. The bar for universal student access to educational opportunity has been set for other states to follow.  

All K-12 students are eligible to receive an ESA, along with pre-K students with disabilities. Every Arizona student is eligible to receive an ESA, though Arizona students may not concurrently receive ESA funding and financial assistance via the state’s tuition tax credit programs.  Statewide, recipients participating in one of Arizona’s private educational choice options (including the universal-eligibility Original Individual-Donor Tax-Credit Scholarship Program, the Low-Income Corporate-Donor Tax-Credit Scholarship Program, “Switcher” Tax-Credit Scholarship Program and Lexie’s Law for Disabled and Displaced Students Tax-Credit Scholarship Program) represent about seven percent of the state’s enrollment.  

ESAs are funded at 90 percent of the state’s per-pupil base funding. State estimates project that typical ESA students will receive about $7,000 annually as of 2022-2023, but students with special needs receive significantly more. Funding amounts vary based on the types of special needs. 

Arizona’s ESA program generally avoids unnecessary and counterproductive regulations.  

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: None 
  • Prior Year Public School Requirement: No 
  • Geographic Limit: Statewide 
  • Enrollment Cap: No 
  • Account Cap: 90 percent of base support level  
  • Testing Mandates: None 
  • Available to all K-12 students plus pre-K with disabilities.
  • No double dipping, e.g. may not accept an ESA at the same time as receiving scholarships from other state tuition tax credit programs.

Parent Requirements 

  • Parent must sign an agreement to:
    • Provide an education in the subjects of reading and grammar, mathematics, social studies and science 
    • Not enroll the student in a school district or charter school 
    • Release the school district from all obligations to educate the student 
    • Not accept a scholarship under Arizona’s general tax-credit scholarship programs 
    • Use the money deposited in the ESA for purposes specified in the law and spend accumulated ESA dollars on basic education subject 

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

Governing Statutes

Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 15-2401 through 2404

(Last updated December 18, 2023)