In a plan approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature last year, Arizona became the first state to make every student, even those from wealthy families, eligible for a school voucher — on average worth about $7,200 per student annually.
The state deposits the money into Education Savings Accounts for parents, which can be used to pay for private school or home schooling. If the student was enrolled in public school, the money follows the student. If the student was being privately educated, the voucher is a new cost to the state.
The program has been highly contentious — and hugely popular.
Since launching in September, it has grown from about 12,000 students to more than 59,000, outpacing projections. State education officials estimate enrollment could grow to 100,000 by next summer.