We understand that everyone still has questions about the exciting news of the universal ESA program. We are also still in the learning phase; however, below are a few facts we can share:
Each ESA contract is unique and each family's needs are unique. Do not base your decision to use the universal ESA on what other families are doing. Each contract is individual and determined by numerous factors including your grade level, school district, and zip code.
Remember that if your ESA will not cover your full tuition you will need to either cover the tuition yourself or cancel your contract and try to use STO funds. Check with your STO to see what their policy is going to be to access your funds.
Consider the types of scholarships you have received before you sign your contract. If you have received mostly financial aid-based funds, please contact us before signing your ESA contract; there could be some issues depending on your circumstance/aid.
It is strongly encouraged to solicit tax credit funds to use at a later date. Some STOs have indicated that as long as a child continues to be enrolled in a private school and the parent submits an application to them EVERY YEAR, they will “hold” the funds in the student’s name. Please check with your STO to see what their policy is going to be on recommended funds.
ESA scholarships belong to the parents; thus, tuition payment must be initiated by the parent. The school has no control over your ESA. If you forget to make a payment for a quarter, your personal bank account will be charged for the full quarterly amount. We will not be able to put tuition accounts “on hold” while parents await ESA funds.
If you are planning to sign your ESA contract, please email Mrs. Kelly McLean at firstname.lastname@example.org beforehand so we can make sure it is in your family's best interest to do so at that time because EVERY FAMILY’S situation is different.
If you choose to sign your ESA contract, please forward a copy to Mrs. Kelly McLean. We need to have a copy of the contract to determine active dates. There are different ways to pay using ESA so it will be up to the parents to let us know if they need any documentation from the school.
We are an authorized vendor through Classwallet. Our vendor name is St John Bosco Catholic School (no period after the St). We utilize this payment method for our disability ESAs and find it very user-friendly for both parents and the school. Please look at the Classwallet information page on azed/esa.gov.
If you are using the ESA program, make sure you review the ESA Parent Handbookand are familiar with the rules and regulations of the program. Compliance with the program rules is the responsibility of the parent. Noncompliance, especially trying to use ESA and STO in the same quarter, will result in the parent being banned from the ESA program and the parent will be responsible for paying the funds back to the state.
This is a lot to digest, but we will be here to help! Feel free to visit the Arizona Dept. of Education ESA website www.azed.gov/esa for up-to-date developments.
Jamie Bescak, M.Ed., Principal