Mississippi Senate Committee Approves ESA Expansion
JACKSON, MS -- In its first legislative step toward passage, SB 2623 was approved by the Senate Education Committee today.
At the meeting, Chairman Gray Tollison cited the support of Diocese of Jackson's Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz and Superintendent Catherine D. Cook, who wrote Mississippi legislators in support of ESA expansion on January 19. In their letter, they explained, "Our schools have offered a well-rounded education to Mississippians for generations, and we stand ready to give an opportunity to the families who would benefit from an expanded ESA." You may find the full letter here.
About two-thirds of Catholic schools in Mississippi serve special needs students participating in the current ESA.
SB 2623 would expand eligibility for the state's existing Education Savings Accounts (ESA) to all public school students, students entering kindergarten or first grade, students in foster care, children of active duty military, and siblings of eligible students. The ESA would be funded at $6,500 for special needs students and at 95 percent of the state's formula for all others.