[EDITORIAL] School choice blooms in the desert

By Wall Street Journal Editorial Board

The school choice movement continues to gain support, and the latest breakthrough is legislation in Arizona that will expand the availability of education savings accounts for any K-12 student in the state who wants one.

Arizona was the first state to create an education savings account (ESA) program in 2011. But only some students can apply—such as those with disabilities, in low-performing schools, or who reside on an Indian reservation.

The new bill allows any of the state’s more than a million K-12 students to be eligible for more than $6,000 for education expenses, including private school tuition and curricular materials. Most other state programs cap the number of students, set income eligibility requirements, or require students to be enrolled in public schools to apply. Arizona’s program may be the nation’s broadest.

The bill also expands the use of ESA funds for transportation and such equipment as computers or other education technology. The scholarship money is funded by the state and equal to 90% of what the state would provide for charter-school students. It will follow students to the schools of their choice—private, charter, or traditional union-dominated district schools.

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