ESAs no threat to public schools, says Miss. group

Thursday, January 16, 2020
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

ESA (education savings account)Mississippi parents with special needs children enrolled in the Education Scholarship Account program are worried it will go away if the legislature doesn't take action soon.

Empower Mississippi, a nonprofit 501 political advocacy organization based in Ridgeland (a suburb of Jackson), says so far legislators have failed to provide funding to extend the popular program benefiting hundreds of families. Empower's founder and president, Grant Callen, says lawmakers have until summer to take action.

"This program was created [in 2015] as a five-year pilot program – it had a built-in sunset provision," he explains. "So if the legislature takes no action in the coming legislative session, this program will go away at midnight on June 30, 2020."

Empower Mississippi reports that the Magnolia State is one of only six in the country that offer this option for families. The organization has posted an online petition for those who desire the ESA program to continue.

Callen

According to Callen, many traditional school administrators would like to see ESAs ended for fear they will lose students and funding.

"[But] public schools shouldn't see this as a threat," he tells OneNewsNow. "Nobody intends for Education Scholarship Accounts to replace public education or for every child in the state to have one. We simply want to offer them to students who are falling through the cracks."

Mississippi, which was the third state in the U.S. to create an ESA program, had been appropriating $3 million a year to the program. According to EdChoice.com, the state increased that amount to $5 million for 2019–20 school year.

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

FEATURED PODCAST

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

If I had to choose one thing I like about the just-passed 'pandemic relief' bill, it would be …

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Trump extends virus guidelines, braces US for big death toll
Hundreds at Louisiana church flout COVID-19 gatherings ban
Storms, tornadoes damage homes, businesses in Midwest, South
US-led forces pull out of 3rd Iraqi base this month
US agency includes gun sellers as ‘critical’ infrastructure

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Congress just created a brand new dependency class
A salute to the real heroes
Some Liberty University students back on campus praise decision to reopen
Thank the Second Amendment: Armed hero stops possible mass shooting
WaPo bashes homeschooling during coronavirus epidemic

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
A win for parents, a win for students

LGBT agenda in early gradesFrustrated parents in Ohio have won their fight against the LGBTQ agenda their local middle school forced on students without their knowledge or permission.