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We've long been supportive of school choice.

It's basically the philosophy of supporting parents in their quest to find the best educational option to fit their children. That could be public schooling or it could be charter public schools, magnet public schools, online public schools, private schools or home education.

School Choice Week recently ended, but legislative work continues that would promote school choice.

One such bill is the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program, sponsored by Sens. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, and Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester.

Under Koenig's bill, Senate Bill 23, taxpayers who donated to "educational assistance organizations" could receive a tax credit of up to 85 percent of their donation, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Koenig told the paper the program would empower parents to customize their children's education. Public schools work well for many children, he said, but some are failing and others might not be a good fit.

The Post-Dispatch said frustrations with education during the COVID-19 pandemic have added urgency to some Missourians' calls for increased school options.

It reported Ashland parent Stephanie Bell said she reluctantly moved her family from Jefferson City seeking better schools.

"There are other parents who are in my position who are unsatisfied and feel like they're not getting a quality education and don't have the option to just pick up and move," she said at a Tuesday meeting of a Senate committee considering school choice legislation.

Charter schools have the flexibility to experiment; to constantly try new methods to identify what works. Lawmakers should continue to pursue legislation that encourages their presence in Missouri.

News Tribune

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