The bid to immediately take over the failed Kansas City, Missouri school district picked up speed at the State Capitol Wednesday night.
The State Senate unanimously advanced a bill permitting the immediate state take-over of any failing Missouri school system. The bill doesn’t identify the troubled district Kansas City district by name, however, it is clearly the target of the measure.
After a final vote, expected Thursday, the bill moves to the House.
Under current law, the Kansas City school system has until June 30, 2014 to avoid a state take-over.
“That’s too long,” said Senate Education Committee Chairman David Pearce, R-Warrensburg according to the Associated press, “We have students that are languishing, who need help, and we as a state need to come in and do that.”
The administrators of the Kansas City District are hoping test scores improve this year enough to re-gain provisional accreditation and stave off a take-over.
Pearce says the students in the district need help now. He is the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee and the sponsor of the bill.
The administrators of the Kansas City District are hoping test scores improve this year enough to re-gain at least provisional accreditation and stave off a take- over.
Board presidentg Arick West says the district’s focus remains “to improve scholar achievement”.
Kansas City’s Democratic Senate delegation also voted for the bill.
.Senator Jason Holsman, a former teacher in the district, says the district’s problems are larger than just the problems in the classroom. He told the AP poverty; the transient nation of the district’s population ; and a lack of parental involvement are big problems for the school system..
“This bill is a means to an end for significant change in the short run, but it’s not going to address the inherent problems with failure,” said Holsman, D-Kansas City. He added: “I do think it’s time for a change.”
Bids to force a state take-over of the Kansas City school system passed the legislature last year, but got caught up in end-of-the-session politics and were never passed.
Pearce wants to press his bill forward early in this session to avoid that problem this year.