Statement on Senate Passage of Arkansas ESA Legislation

Statement on Senate Passage of Arkansas ESA Legislation

March 21, 2017

Tallahassee, Fla. – ExcelinEd in Action issued the following statement today on passage by the Arkansas Senate of the Parental Choice Program (Senate Bill 746).

The bill would establish a universal, tax-credit funded Education Savings Account (ESA) program, allowing Arkansas parents to customize their child’s education. The bill now moves to the Arkansas House for consideration.

“We commend Senators Blake Johnson, Bart Hester and Jim Hendren for championing this important piece of legislation that would allow Arkansas students to pursue their dreams through a customized education. This bill would empower Arkansas families with choice and resources to find the educational setting that best fits their child’s individual needs.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Representative Jim Dotson in the House of Representatives to ensure this critical piece of legislation becomes law, expanding educational options for hundreds of Arkansas families.” – J. Alex Kelly, National Legislative Director, ExcelinEd in Action

Senator Blake Johnson sponsored SB 746 to ensure parents have the resources to create a customized education for their children, putting funds toward tutoring, online learning, private school tuition and other state-approved uses.

Governor Asa Hutchinson has publicly expressed his support for the legislation and the opportunities it will bring to hundreds of Arkansas families.

Nationwide, tax-credit scholarship programs and ESAs provide quality educational options for hundreds of thousands of America’s students who are most in need.

While 17 tax-credit scholarship programs and five ESA programs have been created across the nation, Arkansas would be the first in the nation to combine the two concepts in a tax credit-funded ESA program. The program would be capped at $3 million in tax credits per year and give priority to low-income students.