A Huge Win for Missouri Families
Thankfully, the Missouri Legislature has recognized that one size does not fit all when it comes to education. The House and the Senate have passed a bill that will allow Missouri families to receive scholarships to customize their children’s education outside of their assigned public schools. Once the legislation is signed by the governor and people begin donating to the fund, students in the St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia areas can apply for an Empowerment Scholarship Account (a kind of ESA) to pay for private school tuition, tutoring, virtual education, micro-schools, or educational therapies. This is a huge win for Missouri and for Missouri families.
The scholarships will be funded by donations to non-profits. Donors to the scholarship-granting organizations will receive a 100 percent credit on their state taxes for the amount donated. The next step is to encourage Missourians to change a child’s life by donating to the organizations. The scholarship-granting organizations can raise up to $50 million each year.
Missouri joins several other nearby states, such as Oklahoma and Iowa, that have also created school choice programs this year. No doubt the experiences of the past year—when parents were put in the driver’s seat—brought to light that kids need choices. As Show-Me Institute analysts have repeatedly pointed out, parents support school choice, parents need school choice, and the states that give parents school choice outperform those that don’t.
It’s the dawning of a new era of parental empowerment in Missouri. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.