Frequently Asked Questions
Please continue to monitor the website for regular updates. Click here to download the ESA brochure.
What is ESA?
What are the terms and conditions when participating in ESA?
- Student cannot be enrolled in a public school (including charters and public online schools)
- Student cannot be enrolled in a summer public school program (including charters and public online schools)
- Student cannot receive any School Tuition Organization (STO) scholarship or any tax credit scholarship concurrently within the same year
- Applicant submits quarterly expense reports, with uploaded receipts, by a given deadline
- Applicant adheres to the approved expenditures
- Applicant spends a portion of their annual funds every quarter
What Spending is allowed when Participating in ESA?
- Tuition or fees at a qualified school
- Tuition includes textbooks, uniforms, and any other essential requirements dictated by the school.
- Fees include registration fees, application/enrollment fees, required book fees, lab fees, extra-curricular fees for activities during the school day, late fees only if payment is late due to delayed ESA funding
- Tuition or fees for a private online learning program
- Curriculum, defined as a complete course of study for a particular content area or grade level, in each of the core subjects (and within 1-2 grade levels of the student
- Core subjects, as defined by statute: Reading, Grammar, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science
- Extra-curricular curriculum is allowed but subject to audit:
- Must be within an academic content area, such as music or photography
- Supplemental material, as required by curriculum, is allowed under the following conditions:
- Documentation states the materials are required or recommended to complete the lesson (situational circumstances excluded for special educational needs
- Only the required amount for the student is purchased
- Fees for nationally-standardized achievement tests, such as advanced placement exams and university admission exams (i.e., SAT, ACT, Iowa Test of Basic Skills)
- Tutoring services by an accredited individual or facility
- Educational therapies or services by a licensed or accredited provider (students with disabilities only, with an MET Evaluation Report or Individual Educational Plan (IEP) from a public district or public school
- Approved therapies include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, Vision Therapy, art therapy, recreational therapy
- Assisted technology, defined as “assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices which promote greater independence by enabling students to perform tasks they were formally not able to accomplish or had difficulty accomplishing” can be rented if prescribed by therapy
What Spending is Not allowed when Participating in ESA?
- Computers and other technological devices (iPads, USB drives, calculators, etc.)
- Consumable educational supplies, such as paper, pens, markers (Tinderdoodle and other curriculum that include supplies are allowed)
- Cash withdrawals
- Before and after-school care
- Food (breakfast, lunch, snacks)
- Tickets to school sporting events, fundraisers and other events
- Therapy fees related to late, cancelled, or missed appointments
- Massage therapy, nutritionists, eye exams, health exams
- Any therapy where payment involves any form of medical insurance
- Late fees, unless payment is late due to delayed ESA funding
How much Funding will my Child Receive?
Update: Beginning August 9th 2017, new legislation (SB1431) will students to be classified as low-income for the purpose of funding and may be eligible to receive 100% of the funding that a public school would receive for that student. Please be aware that low-income classifications will be verified with the Department of Revenue.
Eligibility and Application Questions
How does the 100-day Requirement Work for Year-Round Applications?
The 100 days cannot be reached by combining days for the current and past school year. The 100 days requirement does not apply to incoming kindergarteners, active military, or students with legal guardians killed in the line of duty (military).
Update: Beginning August 9 2017, new legislation will require students to attend 100 days of the previous fiscal year, however they can occur at any point during the school year.