For immediate release:     May 13, 2021

Contact:                            JoDonn Chaney, Acting Communications Director

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Ashcroft Endorses School Choice for Missouri Students

 Jefferson City, Mo. – “A solid education is critical to the success of a student,” Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said responding to HB 349 - the recently passed education reform bill voted on by the Missouri legislature.

 This bill establishes the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program and allows residents to receive a tax credit for donating to certain educational assistance organizations. Those organizations would then provide scholarships to eligible students that could be used toward a variety of costs; like private school tuition, tutoring, transportation and more.

“It’s a start,” Ashcroft said.  “Schools sometimes have a tendency to become assembly lines, or daycare centers, warehousing students. Each child is different, and Missouri parents need to be able to send their children to the school they feel will generate the best results.”

Secretary Ashcroft has worked tirelessly for education reform and emphasized that education is an important aspect of life. “Not only does it help teach fundamental behaviors in children - morals, manners and self-confidence, but it fosters productivity and resourcefulness, as well. The importance of education in economic growth is tangible – it means better opportunity; better paying jobs.”

Because of his work as a Fellow at the Hunt-Kean Leadership institute, a program run by the Hunt Institute - which helps leaders from across the country cultivate smart and effective education agendas - Ashcroft has partnered with Lincoln University to establish a legislative retreat here in Missouri.  “For the last four years, Missouri leaders have joined together in an effort to promote needed education reform,” Ashcroft said.  “The two day event - not funded by tax payer dollars - provides legislators and other leaders with verifiable, accurate information on how best to reform education in this state to give Missouri students a challenging, creative environment to reach their God given potential.”

Secretary Ashcroft concluded by saying, “If our state wants to have sustainable economic growth, then we should invest in education and human capital – which doesn’t mean just throwing money around, it means getting the best return for your money, and we do that when we provide quality school choices that allow parents to make the educational decisions for their families rather than bureaucrats and school boards.”

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Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.