SB 1363 Voucher Expansion Bill - Budget Impact Analysis
Since the bill caps the number of new Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) scholarships that may be approved by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) each year at an amount equal to 0.5% to total prior year public school enrollment, the cost of the expanded ESA program has the potential of significantly increasing the cost to the state.
- Roughly 5,400 new accounts annually could be approved. (Source: Fiscal note provided by JLBC Staff)
- State costs would increase by approximately $3,200 for each non-disabled student who otherwise would have attended private or home school. (Source: Fiscal note provided by JLBC Staff )
- State costs would increase by half of that amount, or $1,600, for each non-disabled kindergartener who otherwise would have attended private or home school.
- There are approximately 450,184 children under the age of 5 in Arizona. (Source: Children’s Defense Fund) Assuming an equal distribution of ages in that group, 90,000 would be potential kindergarten students in FY 2015.
- There are approximately 1,174,930 children ages 5 to 17 in Arizona; public school enrollment is approximately 1,087,000; nearly 7.5% of students, then, are not in public schools. Assuming that 5% of kindergarten-eligible students (4,500 students) do not enter the Arizona public school system, SB 1363 would now require the State to pay for their education expenses, even though they are educated in schools that are not accountable to Arizona taxpayers.
- 5,292 Arizona kindergarteners were enrolled in private schools this year. (Source: EducationBug.org - the Arizona Private School Directory)
- At least 5,400 kindergarteners will attend “D” and “F” schools. (Source: Fiscal note provided by JLBC Staff)
- The number of active duty military personnel in Arizona in 2009 equaled 21,343. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau). Approximately 43% of military personnel are parents. (Source: Policy Briefing on Work-Family Information for State Legislators, conducted by the Sloan Work and Family Research Network, Boston College). 44% of active duty children are ages 0-5, with 37% ages 6-12 and 20% ages 13-18. (Source: The Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, The 2009 Demographic Report: Profile of the Military Community)
- Approximately 4.5% of school-aged children in Arizona are classified as having a disability. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau). The number of Arizona children ages 3-5, served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 2009-10 was 14,340. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics). Assuming an equal distribution by age, the number of 5 year olds served equaled 4,780.
- State costs for funding ESAs for former charter school pupils will increase an estimated $100,000 in FY 2015 alone. (Source: Fiscal note provided by JLBC Staff)
- FY 2015 – 4,500 kindergarteners x $1,600= $7.2 million
FY 2016 – 4,500 kindergarteners= $7.2 million + 4,500 continuing as first graders=$14.4 million = $21.6 million
FY 2017 – 4,500 kindergarteners + 4,500 continuing as first graders + 4,500 continuing as second graders = $36 million
FY 2018 – 4,500 kindergarteners + 4,500 continuing as first graders + 4,500 continuing as second graders + 4,500 continuing as third graders = $50.4 million
FY 2019 – 4,500 kindergarteners + 4,500 continuing as first graders + 4,500 continuing as second graders + 4,500 continuing as third graders + 4,500 continuing as fourth graders = $64.8 million
Cumulative cost per student, kindergarten through 12th grade = $40,000
Potential ESA new enrollments (4,500 annually, which could rise to at least 5,400 annually), 2015-2027 = 58,500 x $40,000 = $230,000,000