Education Savings Accounts and Available Seats in Private Schools

Missouri has a lot of private schools—more than 600. Most of these schools, like their public school counterparts, are operating below capacity; that is, they have space to serve more students. Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Private School Universe Survey, I calculated approximately how many available seats there are in these schools. To do this, I simply subtracted a school’s current enrollment from its highest enrollment over the past 10 years (In the coming months we’ll release a full report on this).

2018 Blueprint: Education Savings Accounts

THE PROBLEM: Missouri students are underperforming. On the 2015 NAEP exam, only 31% of Missouri 8th-graders were found proficient in math and only 36% were found proficient in English. For the Class of 2016, only 22% of Missouri ACT test-takers scored “college-ready” in all four tested subjects. Many students from poor or middle-class families are trapped in failing schools because of where they live and have no opportunity to pursue a better education.

THE SOLUTION: Tax creditfunded education savings accounts.