Missouri’s new Education Commissioner is cool to the idea of tuition tax credits, also called vouchers.
St. Louis, Riverview Gardens and Welston school districts are unaccredited and Kansas City’s is provisional. However, Commissioner Chris Nicastro says vouchers might not be the best way to improve kids’ education in embattled school districts.
"Financial resources are scarce right now, both at the state level and in education in general," she says. "I think it’s important we conserve resources and channel those toward improvement."
And, she’s not willing to point fingers as to whose fault it is certain districts are struggling. She says she knows it’s not the kids’ fault, but she wants to look forward from here, not backward.
"We need to provide opportunities for kids to be successful," she says, and parents need to know the school their child attends is going to serve their needs.
The legislature has considered tuition tax credits several times but none of the measures have successfully passed. School vouchers would allow students in in public school districts to attend other schools, including private or parochial, at a reduced cost to the parents.