North Carolina Legislature Expands ESA Eligibility as Application Window Opens

North Carolina Legislature Expands ESA Eligibility as Application Window Opens

In 2017, North Carolina passed a landmark reform in educational choice by creating new Personal Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) for students with special needs, becoming the fifth state to launch this innovative program.

With enrollment for the ESA opening earlier this month, North Carolina lawmakers today expanded eligibility in the program to ensure that students in private school or home school can join those currently in public school able to take advantage of this powerful, flexible option.

We commend the support of leaders like House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, plus the work of valued partners including PEFNC and Civitas. We urge Governor Roy Cooper to quickly sign this legislation to give more North Carolina students the opportunity to choose the education that best meets their needs.

We also encourage you to share this information with families of students with special needs who might benefit from enrolling in the program. Beginning this fall, these students will be eligible to receive up to $9,000 a year toward school tuition, individual courses, home study, therapy and other services. Students with severe disabilities may receive up to $21,000 a year when combined with existing choice programs.

You can learn more about the program at and hear the stories of North Carolina families like the Bradford family and the Kleipe family who are already applying for the program so they can customize their children’s education.

Thank you for all you to do to improve the lives of children.