Does your month or year continually exceed the resources you have available for Catholic school tuition? An Education Savings Account (ESA) could provide some financial relief and expand your school choice options.
What is an ESA?
In short, a state places funds equivalent to all or a portion of that state’s cost per pupil into a parent-controlled Education Savings Account. Parents can then access that account and utilize the funds to pay for pre-approved educational expenses, including non-public (including Catholic) school tuition, text books, online learning, tutoring, and AP classes among other services.
How does an ESA work?
The state determines a family’s eligibility, and if approved, the family receives a restricted-use debit card loaded quarterly with allotted funds. Parents use the card to purchase approved educational expenses then submit receipts to the state’s administrative agent on a quarterly basis. Purchases may be made only from vendors (including Catholic schools) approved by the state. Families may roll over funds quarterly, using unused dollars during the following year or placing them into a college savings account upon their child’s high school graduation.
Does Connecticut offer ESA’s?
Unfortunately, only five states – Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Nevada have enacted ESA’s, so that’s where your help is needed.
How can I help to move Connecticut toward considering ESA’s?
We encourage you to talk to your legislators and let them know that ESA’s interest you, since they would expand your school choice options and make Catholic schools more accessible for your children.
Keep following up with legislators in order to stimulate the ESA conversation in Connecticut. Contact Anne LaMonica, Associate Director for Education at the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further guidance on supporting ESA’s in Connecticut.
When candidates for office contact you, chat with them regarding ESA’s and ask for their support of school choice options in Connecticut.
Why are ESA’s so important?
Education savings accounts are innovative, next generation options for school choice, giving parents the freedom to choose the best learning environment for their children, utilizing funding that would have been spent on their children in public schools.
As EDCHOICE.org states, “ESA’s are school choice 2.0 because they give parents a choice in schooling options and allow parents to fully tailor their children’s educational experience. ESA’s are about education, not merely schooling. Universal education savings accounts would be the best in school choice to date, because they enable all students to have access to a top-notch, customized education that meets their unique learning needs – ultimately empowering families and strengthening communities.”
Please contact your legislators now and talk with them about your interest in seeing ESA’s become available in Connecticut! https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp
For more information about ESA’s, check out these sites: