Corey Quinn, Ed.D..JPG
Corey Quinn, Ed.D..JPG

Welcome!

Welcome, school leader, to your resource for leveraging Missouri’s inaugural Empowerment Scholarship Account (“ESA”) program.

As you are probably aware, on July 14, 2021 Governor Mike Parson signed HB349 creating Missouri’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (“ESA”) Program. It is likely that some of your students will qualify for this $6,375/yr. scholarship as early as next (2022-23) school year.

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This portion of our website is designed to educate you and your constituents about ESAs, help you determine the legislation’s impact on your mission and propose ways to engage stakeholders to maximize program benefits.

We have broken this page down into three sections:

Having served as head of two very different Missouri private schools, I know firsthand how valuable your time is. In addition to developing this website to assist you, CEAM has dedicated my time exclusively to serving you, so please call on me at any time! In the meantime, thank you for visiting our website, and know that your feedback on its contents will enable us to keep it “fresh” and on-point for you and your colleagues statewide.

Best regards,

Corey M. Quinn, Ed.D.

Director of School Partnerships

Children's Education Alliance of Missouri

ESAs 101: The Basics for School Leaders

The Two Minute Drill

This short video will give you the basic facts about ESA Scholarships and how they can help your students in just 2 minutes!

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The 15 minute lecture

This prerecorded PowerPoint presentation will provide a more in-depth explanation of how the new ESA program will work and important information on how schools should prepare for the new program.

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The Deep Dive

If you would like get an even more in-depth understanding of how Missouri's new ESA scholarship program will work please feel free to read the underlying laws that were passed in 2021 to create the ESA program.

These include:

  1. HB 349 (the main law creating the program)
     

  2. SB 86 (a second bill that was passed modifying the program)
     

  3. The ESA scholarship program will be managed by the Missouri Treasurer's Office, which is currently drafting rules that will further clarify aspects of the new program. Those rules can be found in the Missouri Register starting on pages 318-331. Anyone may file a statement in support of or in opposition to these proposed rules with the Office of the State Treasurer, Harry S. Truman State Office Building, PO Box 210, Jefferson City, MO 65102, or via email at info@treasurer.mo.gov before March 30. 

 
 
 
 
Maximizing Program Benefits

We want to make it easy for you to share information about ESA scholarships with your families and school community, so we have created several flyers, social media posts, images, and newsletter blurbs you can use to keep them informed about ESAs! Please feel free to use any of the material below.

Flyers

The Children's Education Alliance of Missouri has created several flyers that explain how ESA scholarships work. Please feel free to download and share these flyers with your families and school community.

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Copy for Newsletters

Many schools 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.  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 new 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.

Social Media posts

We hope that you will share information about ESA scholarships on your social media pages and in any Facebook groups you are a member of. To make it easier for you we have created a number of isample posts that you can use to let your network know about how ESA scholarships can improve educational opportunities in Missouri! Please feel free to use any of the content below!

Do you have children in <insert school name>'s Pre-K program? Did you know that may automatically qaulify them for Missouri's new ESA scholarship program which will pay for their tuition when they start Kindergarten? Learn more at https://www.showmeschooloptions.org/

Do you know someone who could from benefit from sending their children to <insert school name> but can't afford tuition? Make sure they know about Missouri's new ESA scholarship program that offers needs-based funding for private school tuition. Learn more at https://www.showmeschooloptions.org/

Shouldn't more children be able to benefit from the amazing education offered at <insert school name>? Now they can thanks to Missouri's new ESA scholarship program! These needs-based scholarships can help students pay for tuition at <insert school name>! Learn more at https://www.showmeschooloptions.org/

You can help more students benefit from everything <insert school name> offers! Make sure your friends and family know about the new needs-based Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Account program and how it can help them pay for tuition to <insert school name>! Learn more at https://www.showmeschooloptions.org/

Help more children attend <insert school name>! Missouri's new K-12 scholarship program can help more children pay tuition. Learn more at https://www.showmeschooloptions.org #schoolchoice


Wouldn't it be great if more students could have the benefit of attending <insert school name> ? You can help by spreading the word about ESA  #scholarships! Learn more at https://www.showmeschooloptions.org/

Do you want more children to have the same educational opportunities as your kids? Learn more about how ESA scholarships can create #educationfreedom at https://www.showmeschooloptions.org 

Do you know someone who can't afford to attend <insert school name> ? Empowerment scholarships could help them get the education of their dreams! Learn more about ESA #scholarships at https://www.showmeschooloptions.org/

Learn more about how Missouri's new K-12 scholarship program can help more children attend <insert school name> at https://www.showmeschooloptions.org #schoolchoice

Help <insert school name> grow by spreading the word about ESA #scholarships! ESAs can help more families afford tuition! #schoolchoice Learn more at https://www.showmeschooloptions.org/

Are you happy with the education your child is receiving at <insert school name>? Learn how ESA scholarships can help more families have the same opportunity at  https://www.showmeschooloptions.org #ParentPower

Have kids entering Kindergarten or First grade? Learn how an ESA #scholarship can help you send your child to <insert school name> at  https://www.showmeschooloptions.org/

Images to post to social media

Instagram and Snapchat are great channels to reach younger audiences, including students who may be looking for better educational options. These social media channels are based on visual content, so we have created a number of images you can download and post on your Snapchat or Instagram channels to help spread the word about ESA scholarships. Just click on the download icon to download the image and post it with a link to this site (https://www.showmeschooloptions.org)!