May 3, 2022 --- Immediate Action Needed – No time to wait!!!
EDIT: If you support this action, PLEASE contact your Senators this afternoon. This bill goes to the Conference Committee at 8:30 in the morning. Ask that they support House Amendment 11 to SB 681, this would remove a home school from the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program.
If you agree with Families for Home Education, IMMEDIATE ACTION IS NEEDED! Call your state senator now. Ask your senator to support SB 681 and the amendment to remove a homeschool from the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program.
Your calls and emails to remove a home school from the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program was heard by your state representatives. Yesterday, May 2, the Missouri House of Representatives added the amendment to SB 681. The House then passed SB 681. It has now gone back to the Senate for a vote to concur with the House.
Link to list of Missouri State Senators:
If the Senate does not concur with the changes made to SB 681, then the Senate will ask for a Conference Committee. The Conference Committee will be made up of several senators and representatives appointed by the Senate Pro Tem and the Speaker of the House. The Committee will be tasked with working out the differences between the Senate version of SB 681 and the House version of SB 681. SB 681 will then come back to the Senate and the House for a final vote.
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.
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 Accounts 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.”
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 or email your Missouri state senator asking him/her to support SB 681 with the amendment to remove a home school from the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program .
Find you state senator at this link:
Link to list of Missouri State Senators: