News Release: New report recommends education savings accounts to personalize learning for Kentucky students
For Immediate Release: Monday, Oct. 12
Contact: Jim Waters 270-320-4376
(LEXINGTON, Ky.) – A new report released today by the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s first and only free-market think tank, reveals how education savings accounts (ESAs) are empowering parents to customize their children’s education to unprecedented levels.
The concept behind ESAs is simple. Parents who don’t prefer a public school for their child simply withdraw him or her, and the state deposits at least 90 percent of what it would have spent into that child’s ESA instead. Parents receive a type of dedicated-use debit card to pay for authorized expenses, including private school tuition, homeschool curricula, online courses, testing fees, tutoring and special education therapies. Any leftover funds remain in the child’s ESA for future education expenses, including college.
“ESAs are the latest advance in parental choice – fostering an unprecedented level of personalized learning for students customized by those who know and love them best: their parents,” Bluegrass Institute president Jim Waters said. “Kentuckians, who historically have greatly valued their independence, want this kind of freedom to tailor their children’s learning.”
The freedom to choose not simply where but how their children are educated has resulted in a 100 percent satisfaction rating among participating Arizona ESA parents. Not only are parents more satisfied having greater options personalized by them, students are thriving academically and socially. ESAs are also fiscally accountable.
Funds are disbursed quarterly, but only after parents submit expense reports with receipts for verification. Regular audits also help prevent misspending. If parents misuse funds they forfeit their child’s ESA and must repay misused funds or face legal prosecution.
“ESAs are popular, easy to use, fiscally responsible and constitutional,” study author Vicki Alger, Ph.D., said. “A schooling system that rations education based on where children’s parents can afford to live is a relic of a bygone era. As it stands now, Kentucky parents have more freedom to decide which breakfast cereal is best for their children than which education is best.”
Encouraging more options – not more of the same – is the way to improve education for all Kentucky students.
“By putting parents in charge of their children’s education funding, children in a growing number of other states have customized learning options regardless of where their families can afford to live,” Waters said. “There is no good reason Kentucky students and parents should be denied these kinds of opportunities for personalized learning.”
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Jim Waters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-320-4376.