A long-simmering feud between Gov. Jay Nixon and some black politicians, going back to his days as Missouri’s attorney general, flared up again in Jefferson City this week, fanned by the debate over school transfer legislation.
But not all African-American officials are taking sides against the governor. Some, especially in the state House, are urging Nixon to veto the student transfer bill, because they consider its changes in the transfer law harmful to black students.
The Missouri Senate has passed the final version of legislation designed to ease the burden of the state's school transfer law. It includes a provision that would end free transportation for transfer students -- a provision that would make it harder for students from failing schools to actually attend other districts.
The final days of the Missouri General Assembly's session can produce triumph, frustration, anger and befuddlement -- all in the span of an hour or two.
All of these disparate emotions take place in the living, breathing Missouri Capitol. And while describing that "last few days of session" essence can be difficult, it can perhaps be portrayed in a series of photographs.
St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jason Rosenbaum spent a couple of days in Jefferson City this week. He found time in his jam-packed schedule to take some pictures.
With fights over tax cuts and budgets out of the way, the Missouri General Assembly appears poised to spend its final week focusing on some familiar topics: guns, abortion and voting rights.
Measures to restrict enforcement of federal laws, triple the waiting period for an abortion and to ask voters to mandate photo IDs at the polls are among the hot-button proposals expected to eat up some of legislators’ precious floor time during the final five days.
Even though they’ve been talking all semester, high school junior Meagan Nalepa and senior Shakiyla Hughes have finally sat at the same lunch table.
Nalepa goes to Parkway North High School, Hughes attends Normandy High School, and both have been participating in a series of video conferences on education policy between students from the two schools. For the first time, they met face to face at Normandy High School on Tuesday.
Despite opposition from a coalition of Missouri school groups, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers said Friday that to win passage, school transfer legislation needs to include the option of non-sectarian private schools.
State Sens. John Lamping, R-Ladue, and Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, along with House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, discussed the issue at a forum on tax-credit scholarships. With three weeks left in the legislative session, a transfer bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate is now moving through the House.
As the Missouri House begins consideration of a school transfer bill, state Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, the House budget chairman who has taken the lead on the transfer issue, has made clear what his bottom line for the bill is. He says the final product must cover four basic areas:
Depending on how tuition calculations for transfer students are figured for the coming school year, the Normandy School District — if it still exists — could end the upcoming school year with a deficit of as much as $11.7 million, district officials said Tuesday.
Addressing the latest meeting of a task force formed to determine options for Normandy’s future, Mick Willis, the district’s assistant superintendent of operations, presented four scenarios for the 2014-15 school year.