The Next Frontier in Education

In 2011, Arizona became the first state to create K-12 education savings accounts, currently allowing the families of 1,311 students to decide how best to use their state education funding. ESAs give parents the opportunity to create a challenging, customized education for their children. Policymakers should improve families’ ability to save and pay for their children’s education services by expanding the allowable uses of federal 529 savings accounts. These accounts already let families save their own money tax-free for educational expenses—but only postsecondary expenses. The next step for federal policymakers is to augment 529 accounts into lifelong learning education savings accounts. The additional uses should include preschool and K-12 education expenses like tutoring and online classes, as well as post-college expenses such as job training or other educational programs.

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