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Please share information about ESA scholarships in your newsletter

Many schools, neighborhood organizations and non-profits send out a regular newsletter to help keep the communities they serve informed about important issues. These newsletters are a great place to share information about Missouri's new ESA scholarship program. To make this easier we have drafted three short blurbs about the program that you can simply copy and paste into your newsletter. The first is a general overview of the program, the second focuses on who qualifies for an ESA scholarship, the third explains how donors to the program can benefit from tax credits, and the fourth details how ESA scholarships can be used. Please feel free to use any or all of these in your upcoming newsletters!

 

What is an ESA Scholarship?

The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program is a new program designed to give low-income families and students with special needs the  financial resources needed to choose an education that fits their specific needs.

 

Under the ne ESA program, students who qualify will receive up to $6,375 per year to pay for a wide variety of educational expenses that could include:

  • tuition to a private school

  • tuition to a public charter or district school outside of their assigned school zone

  • homeschooling expenses

  • tutoring

  • educational therapy  

  • and much more.

 

ESA scholarships are not tied to academic performance or school behavior, but are instead distributed based on where a student lives and whether or not a student has special needs or lives in a low-income household.

 

To learn more about ESA scholarships and find out if your child qualifies please visit www.ShowMeSchoolOptions.org.

Who qualifies for an ESA Scholarship?

Does your child qualify for one of the new Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) scholarships?

These new scholarships are not based on academic performance but instead designed to help some of Missouri's most disadvantaged students regardless of school performance or behavior. 

In order to qualify, a student must live in a city with a population of over 30,000, this includes the cities of:

  • St. Louis City

  • Blue Springs

  • Wentzville

  • Saint Peters

  • O’Fallon

  • Cape Girardeau

  • Saint Charles

  • Columbia

  • Springfield

  • Lee’s Summit

  • Liberty

  • Kansas City

  • Jefferson City

  • Wildwood

  • Oakville

  • University City

  • Florissant

  • Chesterfield

  • St. Joseph

  • and Joplin

and these counties:

  • St. Louis County

  • St. Charles County

  • Jefferson County

  • or Jackson County.

Students living in those areas must also either have an IEP or qualify for up to 200 percent of the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch rate.

To learn more about ESA scholarships and find out if your child qualifies please visit www.ShowMeSchoolOptions.org.

 
 

Why you should donate to an ESA scholarship fund

Missouri's new Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program offers a great way for people to make sure their tax dollars are helping some of Missouri's most disadvantaged students. 

The new ESA program allows donors to make a donation of up to 50 percent of their state tax liability to an Education Assistance Organization (EAO) and receive a 100 percent tax credit in return. EAOs will then use those donations to distribute needs-based scholarships of up to $6,375 to students with special needs and low-income students to pay for K-12 educational expenses.

That means that if you owe $1,000 in taxes to the state of Missouri, you can donate $500 to an EAO to help disadvantaged children improve their educational outcomes and reduce your state tax bill to $500. Essentially, you can ensure that Missouri students have the funding they need to succeed without impacting your bottom line.

To learn more about ESA scholarships and find out if your child qualifies please visit www.ShowMeSchoolOptions.org.

What can families use ESAs to pay for?

Every child learns differently, and a child’s family knows best what educational environment and services will give them the best chance of success.

​The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Account Program is specifically designed to help these students by giving their families the funding they require to craft a unique educational plan that meets all of their child’s specific needs. When the new program is fully operational, qualifying students will be able to apply for scholarships of up to $6,375 that can be used for a wide range of educational expenses.

ESA scholarships can be used to pay for private, public charter, or district school tuitions, homeschooling expenses and curriculum, tutoring, therapy, transportation, computers, testing, and much more.

The great thing about the ESA program is that the family gets to choose how to use the scholarship funds and can pick and choose the services, schools, and more that best suit their child’s needs.


The possibilities for how families can use ESA funds are as varied as the differing needs of every student in the state.


As a result, families are no longer stuck with the cookie-cutter education provided by their local district and can instead tailor an educational program specifically to the needs of their children.

To learn more about ESA scholarships and find out if your child qualifies please visit www.ShowMeSchoolOptions.org.