Contact Your State Senator and urge them to Vote NO on HB 349!
Public funds should support schools that are open to ALL children.
Senate Education Committee held a public hearing on the bill March 23.
The bill received several amendments and will now:
- Offer $50 million in tax credits for donations to one or more nonprofit “education assistance organizations” (EAO). The amount will be increased based on inflation but capped at $75 million. Ninety percent goes to the scholarships, 2% to the state treasurer, and the rest can go to the EAO (up to $4 million).
- The EAO issues scholarships to students who live in Clay, Jackson, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties or any city with a population of more than 30,000 to attend a home, private, virtual or public school. Map HB349CountiesCities.jpg
- Any qualified student is eligible for these scholarships, but priority is given to 1) special education students or students eligible for free and reduced lunch, and 2) students whose household earning does not exceed twice the eligibility for free and reduced lunch ($96,940 For a family of 4). To be qualified, a student must have attended a public school for a semester in the last 12 months or be first enrolling in school.
- Scholarship funds can be used for a broad list of reasons:
- Tuition and fees to a private or virtual school
- Educational therapies or services from a licensed or accredited practitioner or provider including, but not limited to paraprofessionals or aides.
- Testing fees
- Fees for a firm to manage the scholarship account
- Classes and extracurricular programs
- Computer hardware or technological devices
- Summer education programs and after-school programs
- Transportation costs for mileage to and from school.
- Scholarships are only available in fiscal years following a year where the legislature appropriates to transportation 40% of the 75% amount necessary to fully fund transportation in 2021. In any year where the appropriation for transportation goes below that amount, no new scholarship accounts can be created, but the existing ones can continue. (Funds do not need to be received.)
- For the first 5 years, if a student leaves a public school or charter school after receiving a scholarship, the school district may continue to count the student for state aid unless the student graduates, returns to a resident public school, or quits receiving the scholarship.
After you complete this form, you'll see your state representative's name, Capitol phone number, and additional talking points. Your school district may cover more than one legislative district. See legislators by school district here.
Thank you for your advocacy!