Existing programs:

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts — 2011
Allows parents of children with disabilities and children in “failing schools” to withdraw their child from a public school, and use the public funding the child would have received for a variety of alternatives like private school, tutoring, or education therapy.

Lexie’s Law — 2009
Gives a tax credit to corporations who donate to organizations that give private-school scholarships to students with disabilities.

Corporate Tax Credits — 2006
Gives a tax credit to corporations who donate to organizations that give private-school scholarships.

Personal Tax Credits — 1997
Gives a tax credit to individuals who donate to organizations that give private-school scholarships.

Legislature Status:


Pending Legislation



Arizona is considered a leader in the private school choice movement. It is most noted for its innovation of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, which has become a model for subsidizing private and religious education, especially in states with a constitutional ban on vouchers.

On June 20, Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a major expansion of the scholarship programs: Whereas now only 302 students are using the accounts, soon tens of thousands will be able to.

The Arizona Education Association is currently challenging the accounts in court. They recently failed to block implementation of the law while the suit is being processed.

A group of Arizona citizens brought a case to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the state’s use of tax credits to fund religious schools. In the 2011 ruling for Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, et al, the Court ruled that the plaintiffs had no standing, and let the tax credit program remain.

Get more information on ALEC education bills introduced in Arizona in 2013:

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