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December 2012 Policy Study, Number 12-13


Education Savings Account:

A Path to Give All Children an Effective Education and Prepare Them for Life


Executive Summary



All parents want an effective school for their child. But no parent should have to take the drastic steps that Yolanda Miranda took to give her children a chance at a good education: Yolanda went to jail and was charged with grand larceny for sending her children to better schools in their grandmother’s district instead of their assigned schools.


“If I had to do it again 10 times over, I would,” Yolanda says.[1]


Cases like Yolanda’s have appeared all over the country, which is not surprising because choices in education vary widely from state to state.[2] We will see more parents like Yolanda as long as parents are denied the right to find the best school for their child. Is it fair for some parents to be able to send their children to better schools because of their zip code?


The most innovative solution to provide all America’s children with better opportunities is education savings accounts.[3] Enacted in Arizona in 2011 and expanded in 2012, the savings accounts are parent-controlled bank accounts in which the state deposits funds from the education funding formula. Parents use the accounts much like health savings accounts (HSAs) for medical services and can pay for a variety of expenses, such as tutoring, private school tuition, and online classes.


With developments in technology, families have more options than ever in K–12 education. This report outlines how education savings accounts give parents even more flexibility. Moreover, it offers a road map for other states as they design a similar policy.




Click here for pdf copy of this Policy Study


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