What would you do with $5,000 per year to spend on your child’s education?
This question is now a reality for parents of children in Nevada, which recently became the first state with universal school choice. For each child, the new legislation will provide parents with a little more than $5,000 of state education funding through an Education Savings Account (ESA)—which operates like a Health Savings Account.
Parents can use the ESA to pay for a variety of education services:
- Public school (traditional or charter)
- Private school
- Homeschool expenses
- College courses (if used for dual credit)
- Distance education
- Online classes
- Transportation to school
- Curriculum and classroom materials
- AP test fees
With the ESA, a public school parent can keep their child in the school, but supplement shortcomings in the curriculum with online courses taught by experts. Or, a parent can now send their child to a local private school that had been previously out of financial reach. Parents who wish to try out homeschooling can also have their curriculum costs covered by the ESA.
Unused funds will roll over each year that the child remains eligible for public school enrollment.
The rub is that the ESA is only available to parents of children who have been enrolled in a Nevada public school for 100 consecutive days. Thus, current parents of private school and homeschooled children are not eligible for the program.
And so, I ask again, what would you do with the $5,000?