Here is a listing from Culture Vigilante of the latest legislative updates and a couple new bills coming to a capitol near you as they relate to educational reform, in Missouri. Please pay close attention to SB 20 and SB 21. They are advancing at lightning speed through the legislature when most representatives that I have spoken to have told me personally that they will not go anywhere this year and they expect them to die before they reach committee.
The following bills have been introduced to the Missouri legislature, this year, to advance the Race To The Top/Educated Citizenry 2020 agenda. These bills are not packaged under one complete bundle, as we saw in last year’s Health Care reform initiative. They are much more stealthily disguised in various areas of the House and Senate bill lists.
SB 13 Requires the Joint Committee on Education to oversee a task force on teacher compensation and effectiveness. This bill has received 2 readings and a hearing conducted in the S Education Committee on 1/26/2011
SB 14 Requires the State Board of Education to establish criteria for the transfer of students from an unaccredited school district to an accredited district in the same or an adjoining county. This bill received 2 readings and was referred to the S Education Committee.
SB 20 This act changes the age at which children in the St. Louis City School District must begin attending school from seven years of age to five years of age. This change does not apply to students intending to enroll in a home school. In addition, it increases the compulsory attendance age to eighteen years of age for the St. Louis City School District. This bill has received 2 readings and is scheduled for a hearing on 2/2/2011 in the S Education Committee.
SB 21 This act requires any child who attains the age of five at any time during the calendar year be enrolled in kindergarten at the beginning of the school year in that calendar year. The parent or guardian of any child who will attain the age of five in the subsequent calendar year may request that the child’s school district of residence conduct an assessment program to determine the child’s readiness for kindergarten. If the school district determines that the child is ready, he or she may begin kindergarten. This bill has received 2 readings and is scheduled for a hearing on 2/2/2011 in the S Education Committee.
SB 184 Allows the Special Administrative Board governing the St. Louis City School District to sponsor charter schools under certain circumstances. Received its second reading on 1/27/2011
SB 128 Allows the mayor of the City of St. Louis to be a charter school sponsor. 1/27/2011 – Received second reading and referred S Education Committee on 1/27/2011
SB 129 Exempts the St. Louis City School District from the requirement that it pay tuition and transportation for students who attend an accredited school under certain circumstances. Has received 2 readings referred to the S Education Committee on 1/27/2011.
There has been a couple of recent legislative introductions to the House to help facilitate open enrollment and freer flowing tax dollars to charter schools.
HJR 10 Proposes a constitutional amendment repealing the prohibition against state funds being used to support any religion or religious school and specifies that parents have the right to choose any school.Received 2 readings and has been referred to the S Education committee on 1/27/2011
This week, Representative Tim Jones, will introduce the “Parent Trigger” to Missouri in the name of the Parent Power and Choice Act. This initiative further advances the charter school movement by allowing parents to have a say in closing ill performing public schools and redistributing students to charters as one of three options. Several other states, including California are pursuing the Parent Trigger.