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Jonathan Butcher is a senior policy analyst in The Heritage Foundation's Center for Education Policy and a senior fellow for the Goldwater Institute and the Beacon Center of Tennessee.
Cindie Smith is not one to shy away from a challenge.
Children - Children - Needs
Having already raised two biological children, she adopted four children with special needs and is determined to help each of them succeed.
Smith and her family live in Arizona, one of five states that offer education savings accounts to eligible students. With an account, the state deposits a portion of a child’s funds from the state education formula in a private account that parents use to buy education products and services for their children.
Students - Arizona - Florida - Mississippi - North
Some 15,000 students across Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee are using the accounts this school year.
The accounts have proven valuable to families like Smith’s, because parents can pay for textbooks, education therapy, private-school tuition, and personal tutors—to name a few possible uses, and simultaneously, if they choose.
Parents - Account - Child - Experience
Parents can use an account to customize their child’s learning experience.
Smith is using the accounts to provide education therapy for three of her children and specific learning materials to help her children at home.
Time - Education - Savings - Accounts - Doors
“They each get the one-on-one time with me and a paraprofessional,” she says, adding that education savings accounts “have opened doors that I could not have provided for my children on my own.”
Parents using the accounts in other states are reporting similar stories. Surveys of account-holders in Mississippi and Arizona have found high levels of satisfaction among parents. Ninety-one percent of account-holders who responded to a survey in Mississippi reported being either very satisfied or satisfied with their child’s account.
Year - South - Carolina - Lawmakers - Proposal
This year, South Carolina lawmakers are considering a proposal to make the accounts...
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