Bill Introduced in Jefferson City to Eliminate KC School Board

It’s late, but it’s official. A bill eliminating theKansas city Missouri School Board has been introduced at the Missouri Legislature.
Clay County State Representative, and Education Committee member, Myron Neth says he has placed the bill, HB2043, in the hopper.
The measure would keep the troubled Kansas City School district in tact. The elected school board, however, would be replaced. Under Neth’s bill. A Special Administrative Board (SAB) would serve in its place. The five-person SAB would consist of three appointees by the Commissioner of Education and two named by the Mayor of Kansas City. Mayor Sly james has already conceded his plan of taking over the district and running the entire organization through the Mayor’s office is dead and will not pass the legislature.
The measure could also change the nature of some struggling Kansas City schools. The bill says better schools would be supervised by the SAB in a traditional fashion. Struggling schools would change. The bill calls for the troubled schools to be placed into a charter school format with the SAB as the charter sponsor, with "an operating entity being hired to run those schools independently", a news release from Neth explains.
Because the Neth bill is being introduced so late, its chances of passing on its own are small. It is possible, however, the bill, or the basic idea of it, could be blended into other school legislation moving through the legislature. Or, it could simply be sent to a committee and quietly smother to death in the remaining weeks of the legislative session, which ends in mid-May.
The Kansas City School District lost its accreditation at the first of the year because of consistently poor academic scores. There have been several options discussed by lawmakers about what to do with the unaccredited school systems in Missouri. Both Kansas City and St. Louis city district are unaccredited. The St. Louis city system, and a smaller one nearby have been under state control for five years. They remain unaccredited.
The bill to eliminate the elected Kansas City School Board emerges just 10 days before the next Kansas City School Board election. In the campaign, 12 of the 14 candidates are running write-in campaigns. Because there are so many write-in candidates, the Kansas City Election Board says final results for the write-in races will take several days to count.


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