No, family members and ESA card holders may not be paid with ESA funds for any services.
Can a family member or ESA card holder be a tutor, therapy provider, paraprofessional or aid if they’re qualified?
There is not an approved item in the ESA law that allows funds to be used for summer camps and or other activities apart from “Curriculum”, “Tutoring”, and “Educational Therapy”. Funds cannot go to fund summer camps.
If parents have specific question about approved expenses, please e-mail the ESA group at firstname.lastname@example.org
No, the statute requires that parents cannot be reimbursed for expenses– you must use the ESA debit card that is provided to you.
In order to purchase any educational product(s), it must fall under one of the approved expenditures. Science projects may be purchased only under the “curriculum” provision. To meet the definition, the science project must be bought as part of a larger course of study for a specific grade level– it may not be purchased as a stand-alone product.
The ESA statute does not allow books to be bought separately. However, if a textbook that is part of a curriculum, requires additional reading such as a classic or other literature piece in order to complete the curriculum; then the additional required item(s) is approved and may be purchased.
Field trips are not an eligible expense. However, there are educational classes that are held at places like the science center. If one of these are attended they must be included in your quarterly expense report under “tutoring” which also requires proof of accreditation by the instructor.
Curriculum is an approved expense under the ESA program, but since it is not clearly defined in statute ADE has provided a definition:
“Curriculum is defined as a complete course of study for a particular content area or grade level. Supplemental material (manipulatives, kits, workshops, games, puzzles) may not be substituted as a complete course of study.”
Curriculum, as defined by the department, may include a set of math books or English texts that directly delivers instruction. It does not include supplemental material that is not part of a “complete course of study.”
For example, you can buy the “Saxon Grammar” curriculum, but not “Cat in the Hat” as it is not a part of a “complete course of study.”
ADE does allow the purchase of some supplemental reading materials if they are required by a textbook within a purchased curriculum. For example, your English text may require you to read “The Tale of Two Cities” or other stand-alone classics. If a parent is unsure about the purchase of supplemental material required by a curriculum, please contact ESA staff.