Banning books in schools is nothing new, but a project launched today by the Columbia Missourian examines which Missouri schools challenged which books, and why, since 2008.
Check out the project via the link, which includes a map, interactive graphic and more. Some schools from the St. Louis region also make appearances in the data.
Book challenges run the gamut, both in rationale and result The project | Sunshine requests for public records of book challenges were sent to all 566 Missouri school districts asking for all correspondence regarding book challenges since Jan. 1, 2008. Responses to the requests came in from 495 of the school districts.
The US Department of Education is waiving all No Child Left Behind requirements for Missouri schools.
The federal law requires students to meet proficiency standards in reading and math by 2014. Missouri applied for a waiver after roughly 18 percent of districts in the state failed to meet yearly academic goals.
A new spending plan for K-12 education in Missouri is now law.
Gov. Jay Nixon signed the education budget last night at a Kansas City-area Boys State event.
The budget includes record funding for public schools, but remains below the levels called for in the state's education funding formula. A fix was supposed to be a priority for lawmakers in the last legislative session, but the Republican Party couldn't agree on a solution.
Missouri education officials are planning to adjust the underfunded state formula for distributing money to schools, with a goal of preventing drastic swings of money among the state's districts.
The formula includes a target for the amount to be spent educating each student. That target was scheduled to increase but the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will keep it at the current rate.
Missouri’s Republican Senator says he’ll continue his opposition to a plan put forth by Democrats to extend federal subsidies for student loans for another year.
Roy Blunt says an alternative plan would accomplish the same goal, without raising the deficit. Blunt says he supports freezing student loan interest rates where they are now, at 3.4 percent, but says he would pay for the subsidy by taking the money from part of the President’s 2010 healthcare overhaul— which he claims is partially funded by interest payments from student loans.
Superintendent Kelvin Adams says more than 1,200 of Imagine’s 3,500 students have applied to attend St. Louis Public Schools next year. He says if enough parents are interested, the district will open as many as six new buildings that would allow Imagine students to stay together.