Empowerment Scholarship Accounts
give your child a custom-made education.

Apply by April 1st

Ask A Mom

Any mom can tell you that no two children are alike.
They learn in different ways and at different paces.
Each child has unique needs. There’s a new program
that lets families choose the right school for their children
and helps pay for it. This program is changing lives.
Learn more about Empowerment Scholarship Accounts

Mom Holland Hines is using an
Empowerment Scholarship Account
to make sure her son, Elias, gets
the education that he needs.

Watch her story.

ESA Moms

Read how Empowerment Scholarship Accounts have helped
Arizona families and changed children’s lives.

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts

Empowerment scholarship accounts can help parents pay for education expenses, including private school tuition, materials, tutoring and special therapies. In the 2014-15 school year, 
1 out of every 5 Arizona public school students will be eligible for an Empowerment Scholarship Account. Click here to see if you qualify.

ESA Families

25
JAN
2013

Amanda and Nathan Howard

Six-year-old Nathan Howard is beginning to speak in full sentences. He’s even asking a few questions. His mom, Amanda, sees these as major milestones, achievements that wouldn’t have been possible even a year ago. Nathan is autistic and has a significant speech delay. He is easily over-stimulated and can’t process background noise, making it difficult for him to focus and interact in a traditional classroom. But now, thanks to Arizona’s education savings account program, which deposits Nathan’s portion of state education funding into an account his mom can use for a variety of education services, Nathan is attending Lauren’s Institute for Education. The private school groups students by age and development, and Nathan is one of just five students in his class, allowing him to get the one-on-one attention he needs. “I can’t afford to send my son to Lauren’s out of pocket,” says Amanda. But with the education savings account, Nathan is getting the education services he needs, and Amanda is hoping to hear a lot more...
25
JAN
2013

Holland and Elias Hines

Holland Hines is no stranger to autism. Her 18-year-old daughter is autistic, and now she’s helping her 6-year-old son, Elias, who has autism and hyperlexia, navigate through school. After her family moved to Arizona, Elias started backsliding. While Holland appreciates his teachers, she feels they weren’t able to give him the help he needed. Elias’s school day was cut back because he wasn’t able to manage during certain activities in the afternoon, and his emotional state became that of a 4-year-old, even though his reading ability is at a 6th-grade level. “He really loves school,” says Holland, and Arizona’s new education savings account program will give Elias the chance to be in a school that can meet his needs. Holland has high hopes for how the savings account program will help Elias. “This is an opportunity for us to take that money and make it work for the individual children who need it the...
25
JAN
2013

Katherine and Jordan Visser

Katherine Visser was at a loss for how to help her son. “He didn’t fit anywhere,” she said of her son Jordan’s struggles at school. Doctors couldn’t explain his motor coordination and vision problems. Finally, Jordan was diagnosed with a mild form of cerebral palsy. With that information, Jordan’s school was able to accommodate his needs and help him function at grade level. The trouble began when the Vissers moved. According to Katherine, the teacher and principal at the new school forged a parental notice taking away supports mandated in Jordan’s IEP, and Jordan was again struggling. Then, when Katherine sought legal advice, she learned about Arizona’s education savings accounts, which provides a savings account for kids like Jordan. Money in the account can be used for a variety of education services, and Jordan is now attending Sierra Academy, which specializes in helping students with special needs. Now eight years old, Jordan is enjoying reading and math. “It’s been a Godsend,” Katherine...
25
JAN
2013

Kelly and Aaron McLemore

When Aaron McLemore was diagnosed with autism at age 3, it was apparent he would need special help. Aaron was placed in a class with many students of varying needs, but his mother, Kelly, felt he was being overlooked. When Arizona introduced its education savings account program, Kelly was first in line. “We were very, very thrilled” to receive the savings account, she says, which deposits a portion of Aaron’s state education funding into an account Kelly can use on a variety of education services. Kelly used her account to help cover tuition at Chrysalis Academy, which specializes in helping students like Aaron. “We’re grateful to have the education savings account. We noticed a change from the moment he started going to Chrysalis.” At Chrysalis, Aaron receives speech and occupational therapy in addition to his academics, improving his learning and behavior. “Without that scholarship fund, we wouldn’t have been able to afford to send Aaron to Chrysalis,” says...
25
JAN
2013

Rebecca and Kasey Locke

Rebecca Locke was frustrated with her daughter Kasey’s academic progress. Six-year-old Kasey is autistic, and when she started kindergarten at the local public school, her parents worked with school officials to incorporate a new learning method, applied behavioral analysis (ABA), into Kasey’s school work. “We were looking for different modes of treatment for her and came upon applied behavioral analysis, and that’s the only treatment that’s been empirically shown to cause improvement.” But her parents were frustrated because Kasey’s school couldn’t incorporate ABA methods into her full school day. It really wasn’t the school’s focus to use this type of treatment.  “We did look into private schooling, but there was no way we could financially reach that.” Then, when Arizona passed educational savings accounts into law, “it was almost too good to be true” for the Lockes. With an education savings account, Kasey’s portion of state education funding would be deposited into an account her parents could use for any educational services. The education savings account has been life-changing for Kasey, who now attends Chrysalis Academy, a private school that incorporates ABA tools.  Recently, Kasey visited her speech therapist, who was “amazed” with Kasey’s progress. Her parents say the education savings account has been “a huge success...