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.
Missouri lawmakers return to Jefferson City Wednesday for the start of this year’s legislative session. 2011 was marked by House and Senate Republicans fighting with each other over tax credits and redistricting, while still managing to take pot shots at Democratic Governor Jay Nixon’s handling of the state budget. St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a look at how the 2012 session may play out.
Missouri lawmakers began pre-filing bills today for next year’s legislative session, which begins January 4th.
One bill was influenced by the deadly Joplin tornado. If passed, it would allow Missouri residents to deduct up to $5,000 from their state income taxes for building storm shelters on their properties. It’s sponsored by State Representative Terry Swinger (D, Caruthersville).
A state legislative committee heard testimony today on what options should be considered for students enrolled at unaccredited schools in Missouri. It’s part of another effort to address a recent State Supreme Court ruling.
Turner v. Clayton affirmed that students not only have the right to transfer away from an unaccredited school district, but that the failing district has to pick up the tab. State and local officials fear it could lead to a mass exodus from schools in St. Louis, Kansas City and Riverview Gardens.