Email your representative and tell them you oppose the creation of a tax credit voucher system in Missouri that would use public funds for private education. The Missouri House could soon debate HB349 (Christofanelli) that would have a detrimental impact on public education. Your action on this harmful legislation is needed to ensure Missouri maintains strong public schools for strong communities. Let your representative know that you oppose HB349. For more information visit MSTA Action.
HB349 (Christofanelli) would allow any taxpayer who makes a qualifying contribution to the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program to claim a tax credit equal to 50 percent of the total contribution. The tax credit voucher program would begin at $50 million per year and includes an escalator that would grow the program unchecked with no oversight by the Missouri General Assembly. Missouri can’t afford to pull further resources away from public education, especially at a time when the state is working to ensure that Missouri has the workforce necessary to continue to grow the state’s economy.
This new voucher program would allow for the creation of nonprofit organizations that would be allowed to defer state tax dollars that would normally go to the education of all students, steering resources away from the classroom toward bureaucratic administration.
HB349 would allow for the vouchers to be used for a number of services, including private school tuition, textbooks, tutoring services and summer education programs with no accountability or oversight from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This new program would be under the state treasurer who is given very few tools to ensure that the programs are contributing to the success of Missouri students.
This legislation would impact every district in the state by limiting the amount of state revenue available to fund public education that serves all students across the state.
Public tax dollars used to support all students’ needs including mental health access, classroom supports and highly qualified teachers, must be a priority for the legislature before creating programs that would defer money away from public education.
MSTA opposes these measures based on the MSTA Adopted Resolutions. Education professionals believe that all students deserve equal access to a free public education. We believe that the continuation of our free nation and its strength and well-being depend on our free public schools.