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Local churches support children's education initiative - KOAM TV 7

Local churches support children's education initiative

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Missouri lawmakers have been working hard to promote children's education, and a new bill proposed to credit those who donate to education foundations ..is getting a push from some local churches. Catholic bishops statewide with the help of the Knights of Columbus are circulating petitions to put the issue to a vote.

"In this church and in all churches people are supportive of education...and involving the children. The children is what its' all about." says Grant Knight of Knights of Columbus, Denny Desmond.

The children's education initiative is a proposed amendment that would allow tax credits for donations to any education foundation..

"We're supportive here of our catholic school systems here in Joplin. And if it has the opportunity to benefit the school systems, both public and in our case, the parochial schools, the catholic schools, then we're going to make that effort to make that happen." says Jim Kastler, Deputy Grant Knight & Coordinator of initiative.

One key part of  the initiative, the state would not see any increase in taxes. Instead, taxpayers would be able to claim a tax credit for 50% of their donation to an education foundation.

Kastler along with the Knights of Columbus coordinated efforts with St. Mary's Catholic Church by asking their members to sign the petition after weekly mass.

"The money will eventually get back to the various schools through foundations, then the foundations will determine how to spend money." Desmond says.

St. Mary's showed strong support for the petition. Kastler says this weekend alone they've gained anywhere from 200 to 300 signatures supporting the education tax credit...and he doesn't plan on stopping there.

"In the big picture scheme of things, over the course of the state of Missouri, the requirement is somewhere between 400-500,000 signatures, so we're doing our part." Kastler says.

The group plans to keep the petition available for signatures during mass for the next few weeks. If enough signatures are reached by December 31st, the amendment would be considered by voters at the November 2014 election.
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