Jason Fontana

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FAQ: Education Savings Accounts and private school tuition in Iowa

Jason Fontana is a doctoral candidate in Sociology and Social Policy at Princeton University. Jennifer Jennings is Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, and the Director of the Education Research Section. Fontana and Jennings are conducting a multi-year research project on the impacts of Education Savings Accounts.

Frequently asked questions about “The Effect of Taxpayer-Funded Education Savings Accounts on Private School Tuition: Evidence from Iowa,” a working paper by Jason Fontana and Jennifer Jennings, published at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute in April 2024.

1) What questions does this study answer?

This study asks if Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), which are taxpayer funds to help pay for private school, caused Iowa private schools to raise tuition prices in the 2023-24 school year.

2) How does this study answer those questions?

The study compares tuition prices in Iowa, where ESAs were available in 2023-24, to Nebraska, which will adopt ESAs starting in 2024-25. Since Iowa and Nebraska are similar in many ways, comparing them helps show the impact of ESAs. It also looks at how tuition changed in different grades to see if prices increased more when all students were eligible.

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