What’s an ESA?
In a word, education savings accounts (ESA) are all about flexibility! The newest and most innovative form of education choice, ESA’s are restricted-use accounts into which the state places a portion of the money it would’ve spent on a student’s public – school education. An ESA allows money to follow the student!
ESA’s allow parents to tailor their individual student’s education while ensuring that tax dollars allotted for education funding are being used for that purpose.
For more information on education savings accounts, visit:
- Education Savings Accounts for West Virginia Students with Special Needs
- West Virginia and Education Savings Accounts
Why Does West Virginia Need Them?
- West Virginia spends a bunch of money and doesn’t get enough in return.
- Over $12,000 a year per-pupil on education.
- 16th in the nation for spending.
- That’s 44 percent of West Virginia’s entire general revenue budget is spent on education!
- West Virginia’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores are lagging behind other states.
- Only 27.8 percent of West Virginia’s 8th graders are proficient in reading – that’s 45th in the nation.
- Only 23.9 percent of West Virginia’s 8th graders are proficient in mathematics, placing them 46th in the nation!
- AND, 80% of West Virginians believe our education system is average or failing.
- Behind the curve in education innovation.
- West Virginia is one of only 4 states with ZERO education choice.
- Education choice includes:
- Public school choice like charter schools (44 states and the District of Columbia have charter schools; some states have had them for decades)
- Private school choice like education savings accounts or tax-credit scholarships.
- 62% of West Virginia voters believe greater parental choice will improve the education system.
How They Work in Other States
The nation’s first ESA program was implemented in Arizona in 2011. Since then, five additional states have passed ESA laws: Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Nevada
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