The $5 million awards celebrate states that expand education opportunity
WASHINGTON – Governors of Arkansas, Iowa and Oklahoma have been tapped by The Yass Prize, the most prestigious award in education, to nominate 10 education providers in their respective states for The Yass Award for Education Freedom. Each of the winners will receive a share of the new $5 million award to serve more students.
“We are thrilled to announce Arkansas, Iowa and Oklahoma as the inaugural states for The Yass Award for Education Freedom,” said JANINE YASS, the American philanthropist who established The Yass Prize with her husband, Jeff Yass. “Every child should be educated in a way that best meets his or her needs, and every educator should be free to deliver that education. We are proud to accelerate and help scale these efforts.”
Governors Sarah Huckabee Sanders of Arkansas, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, and Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma will nominate education providers that demonstrate their commitment to education transformation and their capacity to grow.
“These states were selected because they went from nearly zero to 100 in offering families the ability to use their state education dollars to make all educational decisions for their children,” said JEANNE ALLEN, director of The Yass Foundation for Education and Founder of the Center for Education Reform.
Arkansas, Iowa and Oklahoma were chosen for the inaugural Yass Award for Education Freedom based on their legislative accomplishments:
Arkansas: As part of a comprehensive education package, a new Education Freedom Account program allocates 90% of state education dollars, $6,614 per student, to be used for a student’s education of choice, with access growing to all students by FY 2025.
Iowa: The Students First Act provides up to $7,598 per student, starting with families whose household incomes are at or below 300% of the federal poverty level. The program anticipates serving roughly 14,000 students in FY 2024 and all K-12 students subsequently.
Oklahoma: The Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act provides refundable tax credits up to $7,500 per child to cover the cost of education, beginning in January 2024. Within the first year, 20,000 families will be eligible to receive the tax credit, and that number will grow steadily each year.
Details for The Yass Award for Education Freedom are as follows:
- The governors of Arkansas, Iowa and Oklahoma will each nominate 10 eligible education providers by June 30. These education providers must be able to expand and meet the needs of eligible families using new education freedom programs.
- Upon receipt and review by a select judging panel, the organizations will be invited to apply for The Yass Award for Education Freedom via The Yass Prize Award portal.
- The Yass Award for Education Freedom applications are due by July 15, 11:59pm EST (same day as The Yass Prize applications).
- The Yass Award for Education Freedom will announce winners Sept. 14.