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Opinion: School choice should be a priority for Jefferson City Republicans

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As a congressman deeply committed to advancing educational opportunities for all students, I wholeheartedly support Senate Bill 727, an effort to provide more funding for public schools and more options for Missouri families to meet students’ unique education needs.

This legislation is a vital step towards ensuring that every child in Missouri has access to quality education tailored to their individual needs and circumstances.

One of the key provisions of SB727 is the expansion of school choice through the Missouri Empowerment Scholarships. By increasing tax credit amounts and expanding scholarship eligibility statewide, this legislation empowers families to choose the educational option that best suits their child, whether it be a public, private, or charter school. Importantly, these scholarships prioritize students from low-income households, those with special needs, and children of military personnel, ensuring that those who need support the most have access to it.

Transparency measures are included in the bill, such as requiring the State Treasurer to disclose scholarship recipients and qualified schools, ensure accountability and safeguard against misuse of public funds.

Furthermore, protections are in place to maintain the privacy of students’ personal information while promoting transparency in the allocation of educational assistance. SB727 also addresses the critical issue of teacher recruitment and retention by significantly increasing minimum teacher salaries and providing incentives for educators to work in hard-to-staff schools and subject areas.

By investing in our teachers, we not only recognize the invaluable role they play in shaping our children’s futures but also attract and retain top talent in the education sector.

Additionally, the legislation includes provisions to support early childhood education, provide resources for small schools, and safeguard homeschooling rights and religious freedoms. Homeschooling is very important to me, and we have excellent freedoms to protect for those families in Missouri.

By prioritizing the diverse needs of students and families across Missouri, SB727 lays the foundation for a more equitable and inclusive education system. A s we strive to build a brighter future for our state, investing in education must remain a top priority. SB727 represents a bold, visionary approach to improving education in Missouri, and I urge state lawmakers to join me in supporting this critical legislation.

Together, we can ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed and thrive in school and beyond.



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