By Kathryn Hickok
This month Tennessee enacted a new Education Savings Account (ESA) law for its state’s K-12 students. The law creates the second ESA program that will operate in the Volunteer State.
Education options are widespread in America, unless a family can’t afford an alternative to their zoned public school. The Tennessee legislation provides families there with alternatives to low-performing public schools in the form of about $7,300 per student annually to spend on private school tuition, tutoring, or educational therapies.
Education Savings Accounts work like controlled-use debit cards. Parents can spend allocated funds on approved school expenses or educational services. ESAs put parents, rather than public school bureaucracies, in the “driver’s seat” of their kids’ education.
Senate Bill 668, introduced in this year’s Oregon Legislative Session, would implement an Education Savings Account program here in Oregon. Senate Bill 668 will receive an informational hearing in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, June 5, at 1 pm. If you support parental choice in education, attend the hearing or submit your own testimony online.
Children in 29 states and the District of Columbia currently benefit from 62 operating school choice programs. Oregon students deserve the same opportunities for an education that fits their needs.
Kathryn Hickok is Executive Vice President at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.