Missouri Lawmakers Vote to Expand Charter Schools

. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers on Tuesday approved an expansion of charter schools and created new requirements aimed at boosting accountability for those schools.
Supporters contend charter schools offer parents an additional option to the traditional public schools in their areas and that improving oversight would help to address those that underperform. The state House voted 99-54 to pass the legislation that would allow new charter schools to be established in struggling school districts. The measure already passed the Senate, and now goes to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
Lawmakers passed the charter school legislation in the final days of a legislative session that started in January with leaders calling for significant changes to Missouri’s education system. Efforts to adjust the state’s school funding formula, change teacher tenure and address student transfers out of unaccredited school districts are bogged down and face longer odds of passing before the session ends Friday.
Missouri has allowed charter schools for more than a decade in St. Louis and Kansas City. Under the new legislation, charter schools could be established in any district that has lost state accreditation and in districts that have been provisionally accredited for three straight academic years starting this fall. In accredited school districts, charter schools could be established under the sponsorship of the local school board.
Missouri has three unaccredited school districts: St. Louis, Kansas City and Riverview Gardens in St. Louis County. An additional nine school districts are provisionally accredited, including two in southeastern Missouri, two in St. Louis County and others scattered throughout the state.
Charter schools receive public funding, but unlike traditional public schools, they are independent and are sponsored by universities, community colleges or local school districts. The legislation would allow new entities to sponsor charter schools, including private vocational and technical schools and a newly created statewide Missouri Charter Public School Commission.

One Response

  1. Reblogged this on KC Education Enterprise.

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