A Mo. Senate committee hears testimony on legislation designed to address the Mo. Supreme Court's ruling in Turner v. Clayton, allowing students from unaccredited districts to transfer to adjacent accredited ones.
Legislation that’s designed to stop a potential mass exodus of students from unaccredited schools in St. Louis and Kansas City to nearby suburban schools was heard Tuesday before a Missouri Senate committee.
The bill’s provisions include scholarships for kids in unaccredited public schools to attend private schools, and it would allow accredited schools to open charter schools in unaccredited districts. Tina Hardin of St. Louis spoke in favor of the bill. Her son was accepted into a Catholic school, but says she can’t afford to send him there.
The tents are gone from Kiener Plaza, along with the big crowds. But people involved in the Occupy St. Louis movement say they're still going strong.
Today marks the two-month anniversary of the movement that began in New York and spread to several other cities. At one point in St. Louis, more than 100 people were camped in Kiener Plaza, a downtown park.
A small cutaway of new Missouri House of Representatives district map submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State. This view shows a portion of the St. Louis region. For more maps and to explore further, see the maps and links in the story below.
Updated at 6:42 p.m. with comments from Mo. Sen. Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield).
New redistricting plans and maps for the Missouri General Assembly have been filed with the Missouri Secretary of State's office.
Redistricting occurs every 10 years, and is based on results from the census. Missouri's most recent census data, with shifts and increases in population, required significant changes to be made.
“We have worked collaboratively to draw maps that comply with the constitution, the Voting Rights Act, and other legal requirements,” Lisa White Hardwick, chair of the Missouri Appellate Apportionment Commission, said in a release.
The St. Louis area has lost a State Senate district. The 7th District is represented by Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield) and mainly consists of western St. Louis County. Starting in 2013, it will consist of six counties to the north and west of the metro area and a small portion of St. Charles County. Cunningham says she’ll now run for the 27th District Senate seat, which will include parts of St. Louis and Jefferson Counties.
“I had expected much of this area to be mine anyway, I’ve already been working in many of what would be new areas, and so they know me," Cunningham said. "Our home is in another area, but this is my stomping grounds.”
Cunningham will have to move to a new home in order to live in the new 27th District, which she calls a minor inconvenience. The new State Senate boundaries also have Cunningham’s current home in the same district as fellow Republican Senator John Lamping.
Here are the newly submitted maps for the St. Louis region (click within each to expand and explore):
Updated at 6:23 p.m. to include comments from the bill's sponsor, and Gov. Nixon's criticism of the bill, despite signing it
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation repealing a contentious law, known by some as the "Facebook law," that had limited online discussions between teachers and students.
Nixon's signature Friday will delete a law enacted earlier this year barring teachers from using websites that allow "exclusive access" with current or former students 18 or younger. Some teachers raised concerns that they would be restricted from using social media sites such as Facebook, which allow private messages.
Missouri senators have overwhelmingly passed a bill revising a new law that restricts teachers' online conversations with students.
The legislation would repeal a law barring teachers from using websites that give "exclusive access" to students, such as sending private messages on Facebook. Senators voted 33-0 Wednesday to send the bill to the House.
The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation revising a contentious new state law that limits teacher communications with students over the Internet.
The bill given initial approval Monday would repeal a law barring teachers from using websites that give "exclusive access" to students. The provision already had been temporarily blocked by a judge last month because of free-speech concerns.
The Missouri State Senator who sponsored the measure strictly limiting teacher-student contact via Facebook and other social media has filed legislation she says will clear up any confusion over the new law.
The issue was added Tuesday to the call of the special session by Governor Jay Nixon (D), but in his call the governor only stipulated that the language in question be removed, not replaced with new language.
A group of educators led by the Missouri National Education Association says its confident it can strike a deal with lawmakers to settle confusion over a new state law governing how students and teachers interact using social media like Facebook.
Among the more than 150 bills sent to Governor Jay Nixon this year is one designed to keep teachers who engage in sexual misconduct with students from jumping to another school district.
The sponsor, GOP Senator Jane Cunningham of Chesterfield, says the practice is called “passing the trash:”
“Teachers and educators and principals and superintendents are moving from one district to another because districts are signing confidentiality agreements with them, and oftentimes even giving them a severance package to keep everybody quiet,” Cunningham said.