Bill for ESAs taking shape in MS legislature

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

Mississippi has taken the first step in passing a bill to create an education savings account program for special needs students.

Both the House and Senate in the state have passed similar versions of a bill that would set up state funded education savings accounts. For either bill to become law, it must pass in the other legislative chamber before being signed by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. Mississippi would then become the third state - after Arizona and Florida - to establish an education savings account program.

Matt Frendeway of the American Federation for Children says the legislature narrowly missed passing such a bill last year.

“Unfortunately, a couple of legislators didn’t see the wisdom in it and backed down at the last moment,” he tells OneNewsNow. “But we have seen momentum grow on the side of children in Mississippi. We’ve seen parents rise up and speak up about the importance of offering these opportunities to families.”

Not only in Mississippi, but nationally, people are seeing the opportunities school choice presents. 

“More and more, the only people who oppose school choice are those who benefit from a one-size-fits-all model,” he says. “And we’re learning that even teachers are coming around to this because they recognize that they got into the profession, not to protect the system, but they got into the profession to help kids.” 

There are at least nine other states that are taking a close look at establishing ESAs for families with special needs children.

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