Friday, February 20, 2015

Education savings accounts provide a better service at a better price

Andrew Spiropoulos
Staring at a budget gap exceeding $600 million, Oklahoma policymakers need to find "policy reforms that will both improve services and save money," my OCPA colleague Andrew Spiropoulos wrote yesterday in The Journal Record. "At the top of the list should be the establishment of education savings accounts, a version of which passed through a Senate committee this week."

The idea behind ESAs is simple, but powerful. A family whose child currently attends public school decides that the child’s education will be improved if it chooses another option. Upon being notified of the family’s choice, the state will deposit a portion of the state money allocated to the child’s education into an ESA. This amount will vary depending upon the family’s income, but under no circumstances will it be the child’s full allocation. In other words, the public education system will retain, in one version, at least 10 percent or as much as 30 percent of the child’s allocation. The child will be educated elsewhere, but a large chunk of the cash stays with public schools.

Most importantly, families can use their ESA funds to pay for education services tailored to the particular needs of their children.

If your principal concern is freeing up money for the public schools, you should be first in line to support ESAs.

I encourage you to read the entire column here

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