Missouri Lawmakers Advance Empowerment Scholarship Legislation

The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, applauds Missouri lawmakers for advancing HB349, legislation that will expand educational opportunity to thousands of children in the state.

Statement from John Schilling, President of the American Federation for Children:

“Today we celebrate a monumental moment for children in Missouri and for the school choice movement. The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program will provide extraordinary flexibility for families to choose the best educational option for their children, whether that is in a public, charter, virtual, private, or home school. We would like to thank Representative Phil Christofanelli, who has worked tirelessly for years on behalf of children and families in Missouri, as well as Speaker Vescovo for his steadfast support of this legislation. Their leadership truly has opened the door of opportunity to every child in Missouri.”

Details: 

  • HB349 advanced today on a preliminary vote of 83-71, with bi-partisan support. A final vote on passage will be held tomorrow.
  • HB349 creates a $50 million Education Savings Account program that would provide eligible students $6,375 for educational expenses to attend the public, charter, virtual, private or home school of their choice
  • Eligible students include any student who attended public school in the previous year or is entering school for the first time
  • Students with an IEP or a family income below Free and Reduced Price Lunch would be given first preference; children in a family making less than 200% of Free and Reduced Price Lunch would be given second preference and all other eligible students would come after them
  • The $50 million program is funded by a 100% tax credit for contributions to nonprofit organizations that provide students with a $6375 grant to an Education Savings Account.

Scott Jensen of the American Federation for Children testifies before the Missouri House Education Committee in support of expanding educational opportunity: