You’re Saving Money!

Educational freedom in Arizona enables tens of thousands of parents to choose the education setting best meeting their children’s needs. That choice might be public district or charter schools, homeschools, online academies, or private schools.

For parents choosing private schools, many are able to afford the tuition because of Arizona’s scholarship tax credit programs. You have likely heard the claim that these programs drain the state’s public education system of precious financial resources.

Not true.  In fact, a new study shows these scholarships save the state (and you as a taxpayer) anywhere from $35 million to almost $300 million annually

Here’s how educational freedom saves you money and helps children:

  • Arizona taxpayers can claim a dollar for dollar state income tax credit for donations up to a certain limit to a school tuition organization (STO).
  • The STO then awards scholarships to students to attend the private schools of their parents’ choosing.
  • The average scholarship per pupil is approximately $2889.
  • The cost to educate a child in Arizona public district schools ranges from $3683 to $9674 per pupil.
  • The total amount of scholarships for students in private schools is approximately $192 million annually. If those students transferred to district public schools, the cost to the state would range up to $477 million.
  • Hence, the scholarship tax credit programs save the state anywhere from $35 million to $285 million.

Don’t believe it? Take time to read the study here.

Public school students are funded through several channels with many variables that go into breaking down the per-pupil cost. That may confuse many and lead to the false claims that the programs take money away from public schools.

At Center for Arizona Policy, we support the rights of parents to make the educational decisions for their children. We don’t make a value statement about the choices parents make.

But we do tell the truth about how the private school scholarship programs save the state money. Thanks to the Arizona School Tuition Organization Association for commissioning this important study.

It’s a win-win for taxpayers and most importantly for parents and their children.

To learn more about educational freedom in Arizona, check out our Policy Pages.

To find out more about how you and your family can access these programs, visit ASTOA.


  • It’s Show Up time. Join our CAP Team and thousands at tomorrow’s Arizona Life March.
    • Hear Abby Johnson’s compelling story. Abby will be tomorrow’s keynote speaker.
    • Ryan Bomberger tells his life-affirming story and how he dedicates his life to creatively spreading the pro-life message.
    • And Arizona’s own pro-life Governor Doug Ducey
  • The Trump Administration reaffirmed religious freedom Thursday, announcing a rule designed to ensure First Amendment rights are upheld. The White House released this annual proclamation.


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