Saturday, March 22, 2008

Special Needs Legislation in Missouri is the Right Choice

Missouri’s children deserve the best, children everywhere deserve the best. Unfortunately, not every child has the opportunity for the best available education. Children with special needs face even more problems when it comes to educational services. Yes, there are special needs public schools, but they cannot educate every child in the best way possible. Some children may need something different. Unfortunately for them, their parents may not be able to afford moving to another district to find this or transferring their child into a private school.

There is hope for this situation, if the Missouri Legislature will do the right thing and pass the special needs tax credit scholarship program. This program would give thousands of special needs students around Missouri the chance to get the educational services they need.

The Heartland Institute discusses the legislation:

Under Senate Bill 993, financial contributions made to organizations that provide private scholarships to students with defined physical or mental impairments would reduce an individuals state tax liability by 80 percent on contributions up to $1 million.

To be eligible under the proposal, scholarship organizations would have to demonstrate financial accountability and guarantee students can carry the scholarship between different programs. Qualifying schools would have to meet basic safety and health standards, could not discriminate on the basis of race or religion, and would have to provide regular reports to parents on student progress.

I hope this passes! It would truly give the parents and the special needs children a chance at greatness. Every child has potential and it is up to us to open the window for that potential to blossom. Please, if you are reading this, give these children a chance and support this legislation. Contact your Representatives and voice your support.

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