IMAGINE: What if parents had control over how funding for your child’s education was spent?

Aug 22, 2017

Every student has different strengths and weaknesses.

Every parent will tell you that their child needs different forms of support in order to succeed in their educational career.

Some students need help with reading, or math, or science. Some students have special needs due to physical limitations. Some students need support dealing with issues they face outside of the school system. And some students need to be presented with additional challenges to push them to reach their maximum potential.

But in the current Missouri education system, many parents have no other choice than to send their children to the same school system and hope that the cookie-cutter education provided there will meet some of their children’s needs.

Imagine if parents had the financial ability to choose the educational support they know their child needs.

In a number of states, parents have the power to use state funding to pay for a tuition at a private or parochial school, tutoring, online classes, specialized therapies, textbooks, and even college courses that can be taken by students still in high school. They have the power to craft an individualized education plan that actually fits their child’s need.

This power comes through a program called Education Savings Accounts (ESA), where state education funds allocated for a child are placed in a parent-controlled savings account.

The Missouri legislature almost passed an ESA plan this year and will hopefully consider a similar plan when they return to session in 2018.

In the states where ESAs are already a reality:

  • The majority of Republican, Democrat, black, and Hispanic respondents have said they support ESA programs, and polling of ESA parents shows they are very satisfied with the policy.
  • Twenty-eight percent of parents use ESA funds to pay for multiple learning services.
  • Thirty-one percent of ESA funds were saved in 2016, with $67,000 accumulated for college savings plans.

A recent Gallop poll showed that Americans believe private schools provide students with the best K-12 education of five different types of schools in the U.S. The 71% who rate the quality of private school education as excellent or good exceeds the ratings for parochial, charter, home and public schooling, in that order.

But in Missouri, many parents cannot afford to send their children to a private or parochial school and only parents living in Kansas City or St. Louis City have the option of sending their children to a charter school.

In Missouri, the current education policy makes it virtually impossible for most parents to send their children to the types of schools that most Americans believe provide an excellent or good education.

Imagine if you could play a role in helping to change that and give parents more control over their children’s futures.

CEAM is working to help parent reimagine their children’s education by helping them develop the skills they need to fight for more and better choices.

Join our network of involved parents today by visiting http://p2a.co/wxMje9C or texting CEAM to 52886 to get involved in reimagining education!