☰ Revisor of Missouri

Title XI EDUCATION AND LIBRARIES

Chapter 166

< > Effective - 28 Aug 2021 bottom

  166.705.  Missouri empowerment scholarship account, written agreement, contents — renewal — withdrawal from program, effect of — moneys tax exempt to parents. — 1.  A parent of a qualified student may establish a Missouri empowerment scholarship account for the student by entering into a written agreement with an educational assistance organization.  The agreement shall provide that:

  (1)  The qualified student shall enroll in a qualified school and receive an education in at least the subjects of English language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science;

  (2)  Except for a qualified student who is in the custody of the state, the qualified student shall not be enrolled in a public school operated by, or a charter school located within, the qualified student's district of residence and shall release the district of residence from all obligations to educate the qualified student while the qualified student is enrolled in the program.  This subdivision shall not be construed to relieve the student's district of residence from the obligation to conduct an evaluation for disabilities;

  (3)  The qualified student shall receive a grant, in the form of moneys deposited in accordance with section 135.714, in the qualified student's Missouri empowerment scholarship account;

  (4)  The moneys deposited in the qualified student's Missouri empowerment scholarship account shall be used only for the following expenses of the qualified student:

  (a)  Tuition or fees at a qualified school;

  (b)  Textbooks required by a qualified school;

  (c)  Educational therapies or services from a licensed or accredited practitioner or provider including, but not limited to, licensed or accredited paraprofessionals or educational aides;

  (d)  Tutoring services;

  (e)  Curriculum;

  (f)  Tuition or fees for a private virtual school;

  (g)  Fees for a nationally standardized norm-referenced achievement test, advanced placement examinations, international baccalaureate examinations, or any examinations related to college or university admission;

  (h)  Fees for management of the Missouri empowerment scholarship account by firms selected by the educational assistance organization;

  (i)  Services provided by a public school including, but not limited to, individual classes and extracurricular programs;

  (j)  Computer hardware or other technological devices that are used to help meet the qualified student's educational needs and that are approved by an educational assistance organization;

  (k)  Fees for summer education programs and specialized after-school education programs;

  (l)  Transportation costs for mileage to and from a qualified school; and

  (5)  Moneys deposited in the qualified student's Missouri empowerment scholarship account shall not be used for the following:

  (a)  Consumable educational supplies including, but not limited to, paper, pens, pencils, or markers;

  (b)  Tuition at a private school located outside of the state of Missouri; and

  (c)  Payments or reimbursements to any person related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to a qualified student.

  2.  Missouri empowerment scholarship accounts are renewable on an annual basis upon request of the parent of a qualified student.  Notwithstanding any changes to the qualified student's multidisciplinary evaluation team plan, a student who has previously qualified for a Missouri empowerment scholarship account shall remain eligible to apply for renewal until the student completes high school and submits scores to the state treasurer from a nationally standardized norm-referenced achievement test, advanced placement examination, international baccalaureate examination, or any examination related to college or university admission purchased with Missouri empowerment scholarship account funds.

  3.  A signed agreement under this section shall satisfy the compulsory school attendance requirements of section 167.031.

  4.  A qualified school or a provider of services purchased under this section shall not share, refund, or rebate any Missouri empowerment scholarship account moneys with the parent or qualified student in any manner.

  5.  If a qualified student withdraws from the program by enrolling in a school other than a qualified school or is disqualified from the program under the provisions of section 166.710, the qualified student's Missouri empowerment scholarship account shall be closed and any remaining funds shall be returned to the educational assistance organization for redistribution to other qualified students.  Under such circumstances, the obligation to provide an education for such student shall transfer back to the student's district of residence.

  6.  Any funds remaining in a qualified student's Missouri empowerment scholarship account at the end of a school year shall remain in the account and shall not be returned to the educational assistance organization.  Any funds remaining in a qualified student's Missouri empowerment scholarship account upon graduation from a qualified school shall be returned to the educational assistance organization for redistribution to other qualified students.

  7.  Moneys received under sections 166.700 to 166.720 shall not constitute Missouri taxable income to the parent of the qualified student.

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(L. 2021 H.B. 349)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2021 ----

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