Last call to support Melinda Moss and Darren Farmer in PSRS/PEERS election

Voting closes today (May 8) at 5 p.m., in the important election for new Board of Trustee members for the Public School & Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri.  Missouri’s largest public education associations are supporting Darren Farmer and Melinda Moss in their campaigns. Both Darren Farmer and Melinda Moss are recommended candidates by the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Missouri NEA, the Missouri Association of School Administrators, Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, and the Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education.  Your vote is important to ensure that teachers and women continue to have a voice on the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees. 

Online and telephone ballots must be received by May 8. Paper ballots must be postmarked by May 8, 2020. 

To vote online, secure your PIN from the materials mailed from PSRS/PEERS and visit https://vote.yeselections.com/PSRS-PEERS, enter the election code and Voting PIN from your ballot and follow the on-screen instructions. 

System members may also vote by telephone by dialing (855) 443-5889, follow the automated instructions and when prompted enter the election code and voting pin. 

Members may also still detach the ballot portion of the PSRS mailing and fill in the circle of their choices, fold and detach the ballot on the perforated lines and place the postcard in the mail.  No postage is required to return the ballot.  Paper ballots must be postmarked by May 8, 2020. 

MSTA needs your voice in last week of session 

It is very possible that MSTA will need to activate the Rapid Response program next week.  Be one of the first to know by texting “MSTA” to 52886.  The MSTA government relations department continues to work with legislators to fulfill MSTA’s mission to advocate for and empower public educators so they can teach, but with the uncertainty of the final week of session and the massive legislation that has been created, a coordinated effort may be necessary to quickly contact legislators and ensure that bad legislation is not passed that could be detrimental to student success. Members are encouraged to reach out to their elected officials to oppose both SB570 (Koenig) and HB1540 (Basye).  Should MSTA Rapid Response be activated, enrolled members will receive a text message to take quick action. 

Final budget includes full funding for foundation formula 

The Missouri Legislature will meet its constitutional deadline for passing a state budget.  Included in this budget is full funding for the school foundation formula. 

The other major funding in HB2002 (Smith), that funds the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, includes a cut of $13 million to the school transportation budget. Due to withholding of funds during the current budget year, the funding for transportation will decrease by just over $6 million. 

The budget includes $700 million in cuts to Gov. Mike Parson’s original $30 billion budget plan, which the governor crafted based on rosier revenue projections before the coronavirus hit the state.  Most of the cuts approved, about $454 million, would be to new government programs and would not impact existing services. But another $146 million would be stripped from core agency budgets. 

The budget includes the authority to spend billions of dollars in federal funding on public schools, colleges and other government agencies. It is unclear exactly when, and how much, federal dollars Missouri will ultimately get over the next year to fight COVID-19 and restart the economy. 

The amount of revenue that will be brought into state is still uncertain due to the shift in the tax date from April to July.  Because of this, budget withholds might be necessary.  

The economic effects of the coronavirus resulted in a more than 54% drop in state tax revenues in April.  General revenue collections in April were down from $1.59 billion in April 2019 to $725 million this year. The stunning drop was not unexpected due to the changed date for tax collections.  It is uncertain what the effect of consumers staying home and employers shedding jobs amid the spread of COVID-19 will be on the economy. 

For the year, tax collections are down by 6.1 percent heading into the final two months of the fiscal year. Income tax collections, which are the main source of state funds, were down nearly 64 percent, primarily because the tax filing deadline has been extended from the normal April 15 date to July 15. 

Tax bill in the House would have harmful impact on public schools 

In the rush to pass as much legislation as possible, SB570 (Koenig), a bill that would rein in the use of tax increment financing has turned into a 78-page omnibus bill relating to “taxation.”  Included in the bill are 39 new sections of law that combine many bills that were filed but not voted on by either the House or the Senate. Two sections of great concern to MSTA include language from HB1664 (Ritchey) and HB1710 (Eggleston). 

Language included from HB1664 would direct a greater percentage of local education funding toward charter schools. With the economic uncertainties that exist, the bill presents even larger problems not only for the Kansas City and St. Louis Public Schools, but could also have an effect on other districts if the legislature were to expand charter schools across the state in future sessions.  The bill is outlined to bring “fairness” to school funding yet comparing traditional school districts to charter schools isn’t an applestoapples comparison. There are still concerns about the disparity between the services that are provided by charter schools.  In the Kansas City Public School District, the special education incident rate for the 2017-18 school year was 12 percent. For Kansas City charter schools, the average special education incident rate was only 8 percent.  Another example where the two systems of education are not on the same footing is in student transportation. Traditional public schools are required by law to provide transportation for students. Transportation funding continues to be underfunded by millions of dollars by the legislature, including a cut in next year’s budget.  

The language from HB1710 that was included in SB570 relates to perceived issues with property values.  This language would create an unfair and nonuniform system for assessments, and reduce funding for schools and other entities, placing further burdens on county assessors. The bill would cap growth in assessed values, regardless of the true assessed value of the property, placing a further burden on other property owners in the community. This limit would prevent assessors from accurately assessing property at true market value.  Limiting the assessor’s ability to place true market value on property would likely result in lowering the total assessed value, resulting in fewer dollars for schools and other jurisdictions that rely on local taxes to provide services. The bill also requires a physical inspection for residential properties if there is an increase of more than 10 percent, placing the burden of proof on the assessor if the value is appealed.  

These measures add more uncertainty and deeply cut into the flexibility that schools will need to provide a quality education and meet the needs of students across the state. With the economic uncertainty that currently exists as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature should oppose these measures and ensure that school districts have the financing available to meet the challenges from the current pandemic.  

MSTA joins other public education groups in letter to legislature 

The Missouri State Teachers Association joined 13 other Missouri advocacy groups that support public education in Missouri to urge the Missouri General Assembly to oppose legislation that would harm Missouri students, families and communities. A clear result of the shortened session is the creation of massive bills that combine multiple subjects. During the rush to get legislation passed, lobbyists, advocates and the public have been discouraged from attending hearings, testifying on bills and have limited ability to communicate with legislators. 

Missouri General Assembly 

201 W. Capitol Ave. 

Jefferson City, MO 65109 

  

            Re: 2020 Legislative Session 

  

Members of the Missouri General Assembly, 

As the Missouri General Assembly has reconvened, we respectfully request the Legislature take a slow and careful approach with regard to any new public policy that impacts education. As you know, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been severe on Missouri’s economy. Local economies have also been affected, and local political subdivisions are bracing for significant financial stress. The economic devastation we face will rival the Great Recession of 2008, and perhaps the Great Depression of the 1930’s. 

Local school districts, who are the backbone of public education, serving hundreds of thousands of children, face enormous uncertainty. Educators have been tasked with dramatically altering the way they deliver instruction for the current academic year. This may continue into the summer months and potentially the fall depending on the length of the pandemic. 

As the economy has contracted, sales tax revenues are dropping dramatically. Missouri school districts will, in all likelihood, lose millions in revenue from Proposition C funds. Fully funding the foundation formula is a tremendous achievement for the Legislature, and that effort is greatly appreciated. However, we also realize that economic realities cannot be avoided, and the Governor may be forced to withhold funding at some point.  

During these economic times, certainty and stability are paramount. As such, now is not the time to place additional state mandates and costs on our local school districts. It is important the Legislature not complicate the situation by passing controversial education issues that would draw additional valuable resources away from districts and the students they serve.  

In just the past week, several omnibus bills were drafted with little public input. There are numerous education issues in many of these omnibus bills that will cost local school districts millions of dollars and hurt districts’ ability to serve their students. Changes to the funding distribution for charter schools, creation of charter recovery high schools with open enrollment, virtual school expansion with no local school district oversight, a costly reading intervention program mandate, and harmful modifications to property assessment protocols, are among the harmful provisions.  

We urge you to vote “No” on these controversial omnibus bills in both the House and Senate. Two of these bills include House Committee Substitute for SB 528 and Senate Committee Substitute for HB 1540. Other omnibus bills with controversial education/property assessment modifications have been added in House Committee Substitutes for SB 544, SB 570, SB 594, SB 600, SB 676, SB 704 and SB 725. 

We ask the Legislature, in the waning days of the 2020 Legislative Session, to concentrate on passing the budget and working on legislation to help the state better navigate the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on Missouri citizens. We further ask that the Legislature refrain from adding uncertainty that would impede the ability of schools to effectively serve students. 

We appreciate your hard work on behalf of the State of Missouri. Thank you for considering our requests. 

Sincerely, 

  • Missouri Parent Teacher Association (PTA) 
  • Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA) 
  • Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) 
  • Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) 
  • Missouri Elementary School Principals Association (MAESP) 
  • Missouri Secondary School Principals Associations (MASSP) 
  • Missouri Association of Rural Education (MARE) 
  • Missouri School Business Officials (MoASBO) 
  • Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City (CSDGKC) 
  • EducationPlus (EdPlus) 
  • Missouri K-8 Association (K-8) 
  • Missouri Council of Career and Technical Administrators (MCCTA) 
  • Missouri National Education Association (MNEA) 
  • American Federation of Teachers for Missouri (AFT-Missouri) 

Senate Education committee advances omnibus mandate bill 

House Bill 1540 (Basye) was passed by the Missouri House as a five-page bill relating to special education services.  In a committee substitute offered by Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin, the bill was expanded to encompass both K-12 education as well as laws relating to higher education.  The bill has ballooned into 75 pages, including changes to campaign law, mandating the teaching of “structured literacy,” competency-based credit, home school students participating in school district sponsored events and the creation of an open enrollment charter schools in Missouri.   

The bill specifically outlines that public dollars may not be spent for political purposes by school districts and employees; this has been in practice and supported across the state.  The change to this language would create a new criminal offense, a class A misdemeanor.  This change takes enforcement out of the hands of the Missouri Ethics Commission, and places it in the hands of a local prosecutor, creating a chilling effect on education professionals discussing bond issues or political campaigns. 

Numerous policy issues and drafting concerns are present in the over 20 new sections of this omnibus bill, especially regarding language from SB966 and SB525.  Neither bill has been debated by either the House or the Senate.  These bills make broad changes to education policy in Missouri that are being rushed through the process with few opportunities for education professionals to testify or provide input on these important issues. 

SB966 requires each school district or charter school to have a policy for reading success for grades K-4. These plans which currently exist for grades K-3 are typically developed locally.  The language of the bill would mandate that locally developed policies must be aligned with guidelines developed from DESE, binding the hands of educators to follow a statewide policy. 

The bill further prescribes that all students in need of a reading success plan or have been identified as being at risk for dyslexia or have a formal diagnosis of dyslexia must have a plan that includes explicit and systematic multisensory instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehensionEducation professionals must also use a structured literacy reading program for any student with a formal diagnosis of dyslexia or is found to be at risk for dyslexia. The bill further prescribes policies that take flexibility out of the hands of educators for a onesizefitsall approach. 

MSTA opposes this vast statewide curriculum mandate. MSTA supports the autonomy of the local school district to adopt curriculum, assessments and programs to meet educational goals.  Missouri education professionals should be free to ensure that students have the supports that are best suited for the student, and not those mandated in statewide public policy. 

SB525 would expand the charter school model and create recovery charter high schools that serve students in recovery for substance abuse Kansas City.  While the language states that students must be in recovery for substance abuse, there is nothing in the bill that requires verification or definition as to what would constitute substance abuse recovery, or a substance dependency disorder. 

These schools would be allowed to open enroll students from any district in the state, and even students not residing in Missouri.  For students that enroll from other districts, the students district of residence could be required to pay 100 percent of the charter schools per-pupil expenditure. This creates uncertainty for districts on what the cost of students transferring to a recovery would be and what the impact to services to other students in the district would be.  

This new charter school language does not fix existing problems in charter school law that allow the governing boards of charter schools to exist outside of the locally elected school boards. Similar to other charter schools, the board members of a recovery charter school will not be required to live in the Kansas City Public School District and are not even required to be residents of Missouri.  These board members will be responsible for overseeing millions of taxpayer dollars without accountability from the citizens in the community.   

Missouri public schools are serving students across the state to provide mental health counseling, and substance dependency issues.  Many schools have active partnerships with community providers to offer additional servicesThere is no requirement in the bill that would require recovery charter schools to offer additional counseling or supports for students suffering from substance abuse disorders. 

Data from existing and closed charters raises concerns about expanding the charter school model without addressing concerns that exist in the current charter school model. Approximately 40 percent of all charter schools that have opened in the state have closed their doors. Of the local, state and federal funds received by charter schools since their existence, over $785 million has gone to Missouri charter schools that have closed their doors.  

Just announced this week, the Missouri Charter Public School Commission announced they are closing Carondelet Leadership Academy in south St. Louisincreasing the mobility and uncertainty of over 400 students.  This follows the closure of St. Louis College Prep last year due to falsified attendance records resulting in millions of dollars of overpayments as disclosed in a state audit. 

Below is information on the bills that were combined to create the omnibus education bill. 

SB802 (Hegeman) prohibits the contribution or expenditure of public funds by any school district or by any officer, employee, or agent of any school district to support or oppose the nomination or election of any candidate for public office; support or oppose the passage or defeat of any ballot measure; supporting or opposing candidates or ballot measures; or paying debts or obligations of any candidate or committee previously incurred for the above purposes. Any purposeful violation of this act is punishable as a class four election offense. 

HB1568 (Bailey) defines “restraint” and “seclusion” and requires school districts, charter schools, or publicly contracted private providers to include in policy a prohibition on the use of restraint and seclusion, for any purpose other than situations or conditions in which there is imminent danger of physical harm to self or others. Any incident requiring restraint or seclusion shall be monitored by school personnel with written observation. The bill requires DESE to compile and maintain all incidents reported under this section in the department’s core data system and make such data available on the Missouri comprehensive data system. 

SB525 (Emery) allows recovery charter high schools to be operated in Kansas City. The bill defines a “recovery charter high school” as a charter school providing instruction on site for students in grades 9-12 who are in recovery from substance use disorder or dependency. Such charter school must educate all available eligible students who are in recovery from substance use disorder or substance dependency, or such a condition along with co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  The charter school must meet state requirements for awarding a high school diploma and support students in working a strong program of recovery. Admission shall be limited to pupils who are in recovery from substance use disorder or substance dependency, or such condition along with co-occurring disorders. A recovery charter high school may enroll students residing in a state other than Missouri as long as the student is in recovery from substance use disorder or substance dependency, or such condition along with co-occurring disorders. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is given the authority to enter into agreements with other states to develop a reciprocity agreement for students seeking to attend a recovery charter high school in Missouri. The out-of-state student’s district of residence shall pay to the recovery charter high school an annual amount equal to 105 percent of the previous year’s per pupil expenditure in Missouri, and the student shall not be included in Missouri’s count of average daily attendance. If an out-of-state student resides in a state that is not subject to a reciprocity agreement, such student may attend a recovery charter high school provided such student pays to the school 105 percent of the previous year’s per pupil expenditure in Missouri. If a recovery charter high school that has not declared itself as a local educational agency has one or more nonresident pupils, the nonresident pupils shall not be counted for purposes of determining state aid. Each school district that has one or more of its resident pupils attending such a charter school shall pay to the charter school, for each such pupil, 100 percent of its average per-pupil expenditure, excluding interest payments and grants. If a recovery charter high school that has declared itself a local educational agency has one or more nonresident pupils, DESE shall reimburse such charter school an amount set forth in the act. Upon notice of the charter school’s declaration of local educational agency status, the Department shall reduce the payment made to the school district in which the charter school is located and pay such amount directly to the charter school. This section also permits charter schools to receive payments from school districts. 

SB582 (Arthur) school districts and charter schools shall receive state school funding under the foundation formula for high school students who are taking competency-based courses offered by their school district or charter school. Attendance of a student enrolled in a competency-based course shall equal the product of the district or charter school’s prior year average attendance percentage multiplied by the total number of attendance hours normally allocable to a non-competency-based course of equal credit value. 

HB1540 (Basyeprevents public school districts and charter schools from prohibiting a parent or guardian from audio recording any meeting held under the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or a Section 504 plan meeting. Districts or charter schools may not require parents to provide more than 24 hours’ notice in order to record said meeting, and no school district employee who reports a violation under this section shall be subject to discharge, retaliation, or any other adverse employment action for reporting 

HB1317 (Sommer) mandates school districts and charter schools to establish a state-approved gifted program if 3 percent or more of the students are determined to be gifted. Districts and charter schools with average daily attendance of more than 350 students are required to have a teacher certificated to teach gifted education, any teacher providing gifted instruction without a gifted-teaching certificate must participate in six hours per year of professional development regarding gifted services. 

HB2544 (Pike) currently, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will reimburse school districts for the costs of special education for high-needs children with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) exceeding three times the current expenditure per average daily attendance as calculated on the district annual secretary of the board report for the year in which the expenditures are claimed. This bill states that any money reimbursed to a school district, with 500 or less students, is excluded from such calculation. 

HB1817 (Dinkins) prevents money received into the Iron County School Fund from the payment of penalty under the specified administrative order issued by the Department of Natural Resources to be included in the Iron County School calculation for local effort. 

SB966 (O’Laughlin) modifies current law regarding reading success plans, formerly known as reading intervention programs. Each local school district and charter school must have on file a policy for reading success plans for any pupils of the district in grades kindergarten through four, rather than through grade three. Each policy shall be aligned with the guidelines developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for reading intervention plans. Any guidelines for instruction shall meet the needs of the student by ensuring that instruction is explicit and systematic and diagnostic, and based on certain elements set forth in the bill. The guidelines shall emphasize that frequent assessments are necessary to measure student progress. 

Each local school district and charter school is required to include individual and small group reading development activities in an individual students reading success plan. The plan shall be developed after consultation with the pupil’s parent or legal guardian.  

Under current law, each school district and charter school shall administer a reading assessment to each student within 45 days of the end of the third-grade year, unless a student has been determined in the current school year to be reading at grade level or above. Under this act, each school district and charter school shall administer a reading assessment or set of assessments to each student within the first 30 days of school for grades one through four, and by Jan. 31 for kindergarten, unless a student has been determined in the previous school year to be reading at grade level or above. School districts and charter schools shall provide reading success plans to students with an individualized education plan (IEP) that have a reading deficiency, and to students receiving services under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 whose services plan includes an element addressing reading. 

The bill requires that school districts and charter schools offer a reading success plan to each K-4 student who exhibits a reading deficiency that has been identified as being at risk for dyslexia in the statewide dyslexia screening requirement, or has a formal diagnosis of dyslexia. The reading success plan shall be provided in addition to the core reading instruction provided to all students and shall meet criteria set forth in the act. 

Any K-4 student who exhibits a deficiency in reading at any time, based upon local or statewide screening assessments, shall receive an individual reading success plan no later than 45 days after the identification of the deficiency. Such plan shall be created by the teacher and other pertinent school personnel, along with the parent or legal guardian, and shall describe the evidence-based reading improvement services the student shall receive. The reading success plan shall specify if a student was found to be at risk for dyslexia in the statewide dyslexia screening requirement or if the student has a formal diagnosis of dyslexia. 

Under this act, beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, students who are not reading at grade level by the end of the second grade shall receive appropriate reading intervention to remedy the student’s specific reading deficiency. Each school district and charter school shall conduct a review of student reading success plans for all students who are not reading at grade level by the end of the second grade and shall address additional support services needed to remedy the areas of deficiency. School districts and charter schools shall provide improvement and support services set forth in the bill. 

School districts and charter schools are required to provide reading intervention for any student not reading proficient or above on a local or statewide third-grade reading assessment in the child’s third-grade year, or at proficient or above in the child’s subsequent grade level starting in the fourth grade, and who has a reading success plan, and shall meet certain criteria set forth in the bill. Under current law, each student for whom a reading success plan has been designed shall be given another reading assessment to be administered within 45 days of the end of the student’s fourth-grade year. If such student is determined to be reading below third-grade level, the student shall be required to attend summer school. This act repeals such requirement, and instead requires such student to be referred for an evaluation for an IEP plan and the district shall provide appropriate intensive structured literacy instruction on an individualized basis. If the student does not qualify for an IEP, the student shall continue to receive appropriate, intensive structured literacy instruction on an individualized basis until the student is reading at grade level. 

The mandatory process of additional reading intervention for reading support outside the regular school day and school year shall cease at the end of the sixth grade. If the student is still not reading at grade level upon completion of the sixth grade, the school district and charter school shall continue to provide a reading success plan to be implemented during the regular school day until such time as the student is reading at grade level, or upon graduation from high school. Appropriate documentation of a student’s reading success plan shall be provided to an enrolling district within 10 school days of a student’s transfer to a public or charter school. 

This act repeals the provision requiring the permanent record of students determined to be reading below the fifth-grade level at the end of sixth grade to carry a notation that the student has not met minimal reading standards, and the requirement that such notation shall stay on the record until such standards are met. 

Each school district and charter school is required to offer summer school reading instruction to any student with a reading success plan. Districts may fulfill the requirement through cooperative arrangements with neighboring districts. 

The parent or legal guardian of any student who exhibits a deficiency in reading shall be notified in writing no later than 30 school days after identification of the deficiency. The written notification shall meet certain requirements set forth in the act. 

This act requires the board of each school district and charter school to post, by Sept. 1 of each year, by building, the number and percentage of all students in grades 3-8 scoring at each proficiency level on the English language arts statewide assessment; by building, the number and percentage of all students in grades 3-8 in each demographic category scoring proficiency level on the English language arts statewide assessment; by district, the number and percentage of all students in grades 3-8 scoring at each proficiency level on the English language arts statewide assessment; and by district, the number and percentage of all students in grades 3-8 in each demographic category scoring at each proficiency level on the English language arts statewide assessment. 

The Department is also required to report the information in a state-level summary to the State Board of Education, the public, the governor, and the Joint Committee on Education by Oct. 1 of each year. 

This act permits the State Board of Education to recommend that institutions of higher education and the Department align with literacy and reading instruction course work with knowledge and practice standards from the Center for Effective Reading Instruction. 

SB626 (Nasheed) beginning July 1, 2021, every public school in the St. Louis City school district, including charter schools, shall be required to use a response-to-intervention tiered approach to reading instruction for students determined by their school to be struggling readers. At a minimum, the reading levels of students in kindergarten through tenth grade shall be assessed at the beginning and middle of the school year. Students who score below district objectives for reading shall be provided with intensive, systemic reading instruction. 

Each public school in the St. Louis City school district, including charter schools must prepare a personalized learning plan for any kindergarten or first grade student whose most recent school-wide reading assessment result shows the student is below grade level. Certain exceptions exist from this requirement. For any student with a personalized learning plan, the student’s main teacher must consult with the student’s parent or guardian about the plan and must have consent to implement it. If a student is still performing below grade level through the end of the firstgrade year, the school must refer him or her for assessment to determine if an individualized education program (IEP) is necessary. If an IEP is not necessary, the personalized learning plan must remain in place until the student is at grade level. 

Any student who is not reading at the secondgrade level by the end of second grade may be promoted to third grade only if: the school provides additional reading instruction during the summer and demonstrates the student is ready for third grade at the end of summer school; if the school provides a “looping” classroom in which the student remains with the same teacher for multiple years and the student is not reading at the thirdgrade level by the end of third grade, the student must be retained; or the student’s parents or guardians may sign a notice that they prefer to have the student promoted except that the school will have final determination to retain. 

The St. Louis City school district and each charter school located in it must provide in the annual school accountability report card the numbers and percentages by grade of any students at grade level who have been promoted but who have been determined as reading below grade level. 

SB875 (Emery) school districts shall not receive funding under the foundation formula if the district develops a policy, or is a member of, or remits any funds to, any statewide activities association that prohibits a home school student or full-time equivalent virtual school student from participating in any event or activity offered by the school district, or requires a home school student or full-time equivalent virtual school student to attend the public school for any portion of a school day in order to participate in any event or activity. This law shall not apply if a specific class is required for the participation and is directly related to the participation in an association activity, or in a club, extracurricular activity, or sport. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is required to withhold payments to districts in violation of this act until such district proves to the State Board of Education that the school district has ceased membership in the organization. This act further provides that a statewide activities association shall not prohibit or restrict any school district that is a member of the association from participating in any events authorized or regulated by the association with any school that is not a member of the association. 

HB1903 (Shields) allows a school district that enters into an agreement with another district to share a superintendent to receive an additional $30,000 per year in state aid for up to five years. The bill directs districts to spend the additional compensation and half of the savings from sharing a superintendent on teacher salaries or counseling services.  

Also included in the bill are three sections relating to Missouri universities.  Harris-Stowe University would be allowed to have a statewide mission designation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and Southwest Missouri State University would be allowed to have a statewide mission in visual and performing arts, computer science, and cybersecurity. There would also be modifications to the Missouri Western State University Board of Governors. 

 

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