Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA)


Offered by the Department of Education for special education students, military families, students attending a public/charter school that is receiving a D or F performance grade, adoptive families, students currently receiving a STO scholarship and siblings of students already receiving ESA.

Application Requirements for Special Education Students:

  • ESA application (3 pages)
  • Student must be an AZ resident
  • Student must have been enrolled for the first 100 days of this school year in a public/charter school or is currently receiving a School Tuition Organization Scholarship (STO) for Displaced and Disabled students
  • Student must have a current IEP, 504 or MET that states eligibility
  • Must submit a copy of the student’s birth certificate

How ESA works:

  • Parents become the “school district” for their child.
  • Parents receive 90% of the state funding that the child’s current school/charter district would have received.
  • Funding is distributed quarterly.

Funds for ESA will vary based on:

  • Primary eligibility listed on submitted IEP, 504 or MET
  • School District
  • Grade level

Other ESA information:

  • By signing and returning ESA contract, parents give up the right to FAPE (Free and Appropriate Education).
  • Parents must withdraw student from public/charter school by the end of the school year.
  • Parents must turn in quarterly expenditure reports to receive the next quarter’s funding.
  • Students must have a current MET on file for renewal.
  • ESA website is: http://www.azed.gov/esa