Mississippi Says “Yes!” to Parents’ Education Savings Accounts

Today the Mississippi state legislature passed an Education Savings Account (ESA) bill which will allow parents there to customize the education of special needs children. Each chamber now must review the other’s version of the bill for final votes and presentation to the governor.

“Mississippi is on the verge of breaking down a major barrier and empowering parents who deserve every available option for their children,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel to the American Federation for Children. “As we’ve witnessed in Arizona, ESAs can transform the lives of children, especially children who need unique attention for their special needs.”

Arizona was the first state to create an ESA program. Legislation has been introduced in Oregon’s February legislative session that would create an ESA program for special needs, foster, and low-income children here.

Anita is the mother of two special needs children. In the video below, she tells the story of how Arizona’s ESA program made her autistic seven-year-old love going to school.

Shouldn’t Oregon’s “Anitas” be able to give their children the same opportunities?

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2 Responses to Mississippi Says “Yes!” to Parents’ Education Savings Accounts

  1. Neil Huff says:

    This program in Mississippi appears to benefit special education children. Presumably these are children who are learning disabled in some way. Why is it more important in our society to ensure these children are educated to their ability, regardless of costs, and do little or nothing to enhance programs catering to the gifted? I don’t get it? (In NY they recently gutted a gifted student program because there weren’t enough blacks!)

    In most countries where I worked, the public education systems were organized to invest most resources in students whose abilities were thought to give to the community the highest returns for the public money invested. I think all the hand wringing and anguish over children who always will be in some respect an economic liability on the taxpayers, is misplaced. At bottom these programs are simply day care on the public dime for families who are probably on welfare already.

    Am I wrong in thinking that the percentage of these children in our classrooms is increasing? If so, is there a tipping point in the debate over allocation of education resources?

  2. Neil Huff says:

    This film clip and the news of the education savings program in Mississippi leave me unmoved or at least not in the direction I assume to be the intention of the film. Doing a simple bit of research I discovered that as of 2011 there were 80 federally funded and frequently overlapping welfare programs. They constitute a payout of $1 trillion dollars a year. This figure excludes entitlement programs such as social security and MEDICARE.

    I am assuming Mississippi’s bold new education funding initiative involves another dollop of Federal or state welfare monies that will be added to the 80 similar programs noted above. I don’t think suggesting that the lion’s share of these programs target people like the single mother in the advert film. Otherwise why would she be chosen for the purpose? Considering all the other federally mandated programs-many of which are related to education- already functioning why would anyone think this new outlay is going to achieve something of true social/educational value? Meaning an outcome that would repay the public investment? The two boys in this case will always be a financial liability on taxpayers. I stick to my original premise (erased by the moderator) that the Mississippi program is nothing but a very expensive baby sitting service paid for by taxpayers. It bestows ZERO educational benefits.

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