Hello Friends, 

What an exciting time in our great state of Arizona. We are fortunate that the State of Arizona is supportive of a parent’s right to choose the educational model that is best suited for their family, regardless of their economic status.  

ESA (Empowerment Scholarship Account) legislation has been passed and will be implemented this fall. Catholic Education Arizona is a STO (School Tuition Organization) certified by the Arizona Department of Revenue (AZDOR) to collect tax credit funding for tuition scholarships at Catholic Schools within the Diocese of Phoenix.  

Both STO and ESA programs are necessary due to the financial need in our high schools.

Here are three common questions about STO’s and ESA: 

  • Can a family currently utilizing STO funding receive an ESA?
    • A student that is currently utilizing STO funds can apply for ESA.  If the student decides to sign a 1st quarter contract for ESA, the school will need to return all STO funds received so far for that student.  If the student waits to sign a contract for 2nd quarter, the student can still receive 1st quarter funds from the STO and begin receiving ESA in 2nd quarter. 
  • How much funding can a student receive from ESA?
    • The amount varies based on several factors, but approximately $6,500 for grades 1-12. Kindergarten students receive approximately $4,000. Students who have a current IEP/MET/504 are eligible to receive additional funding based on their IEP/MET category of eligibility.
  • Should my high school student take advantage of ESA or STO funding?
    • High school tuition for students without a disability is above and beyond the average ESA funding of $6,500. Since both funding types cannot be utilized simultaneously, a family should consider utilizing multiple STOs for higher scholarship amounts rather than ESA.  If you are still unsure, your high school finance department and CEA are happy to answer questions.

Every seat in our Catholic school should be occupied, and now is the time!  The graduation rate of 99.4% with 97% of graduates matriculating to higher education, trade school or military service is outstanding! 

Corporations take note – there is still $14.2 million available to claim. Please call us at 602-218-6542 about contributing your Arizona Corporate Tax Liability. 

Thank you for helping us celebrate 25 years and awarding 148,000 scholarships – together we truly are creating future leaders! 

God Bless, Nancy