Understanding Back on Track ESAs

Summary of Study

Bottom LineThere is widespread support for ESAs—even before the COVID-19 school closures.

Pennsylvania children lost months of schooling due to the coronavirus shutdowns. Many had little or no access to educational resources, and families are bearing increased expenses from at-home learning. Back on Track Education Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) would empower parents to get their kids the help they need to catch up from school closures. These restricted-use accounts can be used for approved education-related purchases, such as tuition, curriculum, tutoring, counseling, and services for students with special needs. Back on Track ESAs would be funded with a portion of Pennsylvania’s funding from the CARES Act, which must be used on coronavirus-related expenses.

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Feature Charticle

Commonwealth Foundation


  • Statewide: 73% of Pennsylvania voters support ESAs.
  • There is particularly strong support among minorities: Asian (84%), Black (80%), and Hispanic (88%).
  • Voters with lower incomes (75-76%) were more supporting than those with higher incomes (68%).

Read the full policy blog here