On Thursday, February 25, the State Representatives took a great step forward and narrowly approved a school choice bill called the “Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program,” giving parents in large cities more options in how and where to educate their children. Ava public school will not qualify for this “scholarship tax credit program,” but this is a great stride in improving the state’s education opportunities. A scholarship tax credit program allows individuals and corporations to donate to a nonprofit scholarship organization in exchange for a tax credit. The nonprofit organization awards scholarships to students that desire to attend a private school over the public-school institution. The bill is now before the senate, (SB 55). Call Senator Karla Eslinger and urge her to support this legislation. I applaud Travis Smith, our representative, for his positive vote in this matter and encourage him to fight for making this concept available to rural communities as well as the cities. I would also like to see vouchers made available to parents, but that is another topic.