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FHE Action Alert - HB 2211 / Calls and emails needed
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 by FHE

FHE Action Alert – HB 2211

Calls and emails are needed to your Missouri state representative and Missouri state senator asking them to support HCS for HB 2211 (House Committee Substitute for HB 2211), which includes the amendment removing a home school from the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program.

Even though the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program is funded by privately funded tax-credit monies and is very limited in scope as to what students qualify for the scholarship at this present time, it is a dangerous precedent for the future.

If you agree with Families for Home Education, immediate action is needed!

Find you state senator and state representative at this link: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx

Link to list of Missouri State Representatives:

https://house.mo.gov/MemberRoster.aspx

Link to list of Missouri State Senators:

https://www.senate.mo.gov/2022-senator-listing-2/

 

Important information about the issue:

During the 2021 Legislative session HB 346 was passed establishing the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program, a privately funded tax-credit program. The Missouri State Treasurer was tasked with the responsibility to oversee the program and establish the rules.

During March the treasurer’s office took comments on the “proposed rules”. The comment period ended March 31, 2022. The treasurer then compiled the comments and wrote the final rules for the program. The rules are now “Emergency Rules”, so the program can be immediately implemented.

FHE is very disappointed to learn the Treasurer’s office has not satisfactorily addressed our concerns.

To participate in the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Account Program a “qualified homeschool” will be required to “provide the state treasurer’s office with an authorization to conduct a review of the criminal history records maintained by the Missouri State Highway Patrol in the Missouri criminal records repository for every adult who resides in the home school, if the home school is given initial approval from an educational assistance organization”.

This requirement is far beyond the Missouri state statute. The only section in the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship statute which includes “background checks” is in RSMo 135.714.1(7).

 “(7) Provide the state treasurer, upon request, with criminal background checks on all its employees and board members and exclude from employment or governance any individual who might reasonably pose a risk to the appropriate use of contributed funds;

This reference is referring to the Educational Assistance Organization employees and board members in relation to the funds. There is nothing in the statute requiring home school parents to be required to submit to background checks.”

 

Link to the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program Emergency Rules [Qualified Home School, page 1 column 2, (4)]: https://www.sos.mo.gov/CMSImages/AdRules/main/EmergenciesforInternet/15c50-5.020IE.pdf

There are several general concerns FHE continues to have with the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program which includes:

  • Testing requirement
  • The confidentiality of a home school student’s personally identifiable information
  • The review of homeschool records

Act now to protect home schools from this Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program rule which has no basis in the Missouri statutes and other concerns! 

Call and email your Missouri state representative and Missouri state senator asking them to support HCS for HB 2211 (House Committee Substitute for HB 2211), which includes the amendment removing a home school from the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program. 

Find you state senator and state representative at this link: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx

Link to list of Missouri State Representatives:

https://house.mo.gov/MemberRoster.aspx

Link to list of Missouri State Senators:

https://www.senate.mo.gov/2022-senator-listing-2/


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