K-12

K-12 schools
4:14 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Suburban & rural Senators battle over K-12 funding in Mo.

Mo. Capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Senate is wrestling with legislation that would tweak the state’s public school funding formula.

The bill is pitting rural and suburban senators against each other.  David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) chairs the Senate Education Committee and represents part of rural west central Missouri.  He sponsors the bill that would more evenly spread K-12 funding by siphoning it off from richer suburban districts, primarily those near St. Louis.

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Education / Charter Schools
2:46 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Mo. Senate supports charter school expansion bill

(via Flickr/evmaiden)

The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation that could allow charter schools to be formed outside of Kansas City and St. Louis.

In a voice vote Wednesday, the Senate backed a measure that would allow charter schools to be set up in districts that have been declared unaccredited. It would also allow charter schools in some districts that would have been provisionally accredited for three straight years, starting with next school year.

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Mo. State budget
3:13 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Mo. House passes budget, cuts blind aid

An inside look at the Missouri Capitol.
(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri House has passed all 13 bills that make up the state’s $24 billion budget for FY 2013.

The process took longer than expected, because of the large number of Democrats who took issue with cutting funding to blind pensions and for not spending enough on K-12 schools.  Sara Lampe (D, Springfield) urged fellow lawmakers to look for other ways to balance the budget besides cutting services.

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Missouri State Budget
1:10 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Mo. Gov. releases additional education funding

A sign posted outside the office door of Mo. House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City).
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has released an additional $5 million withheld from this year’s K-12 and Higher Education budgets.

The Nixon Administration says $3 million of the withheld funding will help keep school buses on the road, while just over $2 million will go toward universities and community colleges.  Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the move was made because state lottery sales have been better than expected.

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Turner Fix bill
8:39 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Bill to stem flood of K-12 transfers heard by Mo. Sen. committee

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.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

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.

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Mo. 2012 legislative session
5:38 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

K-12 funding, Turner fix and "no new taxes" discussed on opening day of Mo. 2012 session

Floor of the Mo. House on opening day of the 2012 regular legislative session.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The 2012 Missouri legislative session is underway, and much of the first-day talk revolved around the challenges facing the state’s public schools.

In addition to Missouri’s K-12 schools not being fully funded, suburban school districts near St. Louis and Kansas City may be forced to accept thousands of transfer students from the inner cities, thanks to the State Supreme Court’s ruling in Turner v. Clayton.  House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) says any solutions to those problems should include tuition tax credits for kids in unaccredited areas, and statewide expansion of charter schools.

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MO Statehouse
5:25 pm
Wed May 18, 2011

Mo. education leader rates 2011 session

Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro
(Mo. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education)

Missouri’s top K-12 education official is giving lawmakers mixed grades on the just-completed legislative session.

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Education
4:18 pm
Wed May 18, 2011

Mo. board rejects school transportation hardship

(via Flickr/Alex Grant (alextakesphotos))

The state Board of Education has denied a school district transfer for a southwest Missouri family in a case that some officials claimed could have encouraged parents statewide to try to switch districts.

State Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro had said a kindergarten pupil should be shifted from the Blue Eye to the Shell Knob district because of a transportation hardship. Nicastro said Table Rock Lake posed a natural barrier resulting in a long bus ride that was a hardship.

Missouri unemployment benefits
5:29 pm
Fri April 1, 2011

Nixon criticizes Mo. Senate for blocking federal dollars

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon (D) criticizes the GOP-led Mo. Senate for not passing unemployment benefits and federal school funds.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon took the Republican-led Missouri Senate to task today for blocking federal aid for public schools and thousands of unemployed workers.   

Jobless benefits end Saturday for 10,000 of out-of-work Missouri residents because a group of Senators, led by Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), has been blocking the enabling bill.  Lembke says they’re sending a message that Washington needs to rein in spending.

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MO Statehouse
5:53 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Mo. House committee quickly passes state budget

A sign sitting outside State Rep. Silvey's office this session sums up the mood toward any proposed budget increases this year.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The House Budget Committee has quickly wrapped up work on Missouri’s state budget for Fiscal Year 2012.

The process of voting 13 budget bills out of committee is often raucous and can take several days to do.  This year, it only took an hour, with each budget bill passing overwhelmingly.

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