January 21, 2019
It’s National School Choice Week, and Arizonans have a lot to celebrate. Thanks to expanded educational opportunities such as charter schools and Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, Arizona parents have greater options to ensure their children receive an education best-suited to their unique needs.
As we begin our National School Choice Week celebration, here are some important facts about how school choice is succeeding in Arizona:
- More than 5,000 Arizona students are enrolled in Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA). Learn more about ESAs here.
- 94 percent of ESA participants said they were “very satisfied” with education savings accounts, while 6 percent were “somewhat satisfied.”
- The average (non-special education) ESA award amount is more than $5,700 and exceeds the median tuition rate for private elementary schools in Arizona ($5,675).
- Nearly 1 in 5 Arizona students now attends a charter school (916,540 district students v. 193,008 charters as of FY 18)
- More than 10,000 additional students are enrolling in Arizona charter schools each year, compared to about 1,000 more students enrolling in district schools.
- About 1 out of every 2 students in Maricopa County, which encompasses Phoenix, exercises some form of school choice thanks to Arizona’s open enrollment process, with 47% of public school students either choosing a district school other than the one assigned to them by their home address, or a charter school.
- Taken as a group, Arizona’s charter school students have increased their performance on the NAEP exam (‘the nation’s report card’) more than the student population of any individual state from 2009 to 2017. 
 As of FY 18, per program data provided by Arizona Department of Education