Educational Opportunity Act
Finally! A chance to give Oregon parents the power to enhance their children’s education.
Oregon’s Educational Opportunity Act would allow Oregon to be an early adopter of a universal Education Savings Accounts program. Education Savings Accounts allow parents the choice to use a portion of state education funds to enhance their own children’s education. Parents could use these funds for private school tuition, tutoring, educational therapy, online courses, and materials.
A key improvement of ESAs over school vouchers and tax credits is that funds not used for K-12 educational purposes can be “saved” or rolled over each year and used for continuing or higher education, thus changing the “use it or lose it” mentality in the current public school funding system.
We need your help to get ESAs adopted in Oregon!
A pre-session senate bill has been filed which would create a broad Education Savings Account program for most K-12 Oregon students. The bill, sponsored by Senator Ted Ferroli, is SB 437. The Oregon Legislature began its 2017 session on February 1st.
With this bill, every Oregon child could be allocated an ESA fund, if they choose to use them, with more dollars provided for each disabled and low-income child. When the bill was first introduced, the impact may have resulted in a budget shortfall, so it’s since been amended so that now these educational opportunities would essentially have no fiscal impact on the state budget.
You can get involved and help Oregon children have more school choices now.
Educational Choice is proven successful in other states.
Bills allowing for Education Savings Accounts were first passed by Arizona’s Legislature in 2011 for special-needs children. Their state’s legislature has since expanded the accounts to include adopted foster-care children, children of military, and children enrolled in “failing” schools.
Since then, ESA programs have also been adopted in Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, and Tennessee. In fact, 100 percent of ESA families who responded to a survey said that they are some level of satisfied with the freedom and functionality of ESAs.
This is our chance to make ESAs available in Oregon too! We can join these other states in making sure that our children get the best education possible.
Many people misunderstand ESAs, assuming they are solely supported by wealthy political interest. In reality, the families that have lower-income, minority status, and/or special needs will benefit the most. They’re often the ones stuck with the only school option that’s in their zip code! ESAs will simply empower all parents to choose the best education for their child, whether that’s public schools or otherwise.