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The Show Me State Is the Latest To Expand School Choice

Missouri is one of the reddest states in the country, but has also been one of the most disappointingly resistant to school choice.

So we note that yesterday the state legislature passed a significant expansion of the state’s tax credit scholarship program:

The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program, nicknamed MOScholars, launched in 2021, provides tax-credit funded scholarships to low-income students in poorer districts.

SB 727 won’t make the program fully universal, but it raises the fundraising cap from $50 million to $75 million annually and raises the household income cap for participating families from 200% to 300% of the federal poverty level.

This is a far cry from the directly funded, universal ESA programs we’ve seen adopted in a lot of states less conservative than Missouri, but it’s a big step in the right direction.

Democrat Marlene Terry cast the deciding vote:

“I’m proud of my grandson. I only want the best for him. I want the best for every child, and I want them to have the choice to be, whatever school they want to be in. I support teachers, I support children, and I support parents. But I’m going to tell you right now, the vote that I’m going to take for 727 is for Aubrey Jackson, my grandson.  This vote is for you, Aubrey. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.”

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