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April 19, 2019

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MRH Hosts Monthly Meeting of Public Education Advocates

Legislative Advocacy Group meets at MRH.The April meeting of the regional Legislative Advocacy Committee kicked off this morning with a hearty breakfast, followed by equally weighty discussions on pending bills which could greatly affect public education institutions around the state.

The group convenes monthly under the leadership of Webster Groves Schools Superintendent John Simpson and is moderated by Sarah Riss, a registered lobbyist for the Missouri Association of School Administrators. 

Legislative Advocacy Group meets at MRH.Topics on the table today included House Bill 485, a charter school expansion bill that originally only changed accreditation standards for special school districts. A house committee added a number of other provisions to the bill from other legislation. The committee then voted out the bill, sending it to the Senate floor for consideration. The provisions would allow for charters to be sponsored by entities other than the local school district in all districts classified as “urban” (i.e. Columbia, Ft. Zumwalt, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Springfield and St. Joseph) and all districts located in a county with a charter form of government with a student enrollment of 3,000 or more.

The full House could debate next week a bill that would change the school board election date from April to the November General Election. Under the bill, school board elections would be held every other year with four persons being elected during one election and three the next. School board terms would increase from three to four years. The bill also contains a provision that is intended to discourage school board members and district employees from advocating for or against bills being considered by the state legislature and allows any member of the public to sue the district to enforce the law.

 One of the more lively topics at today's meeting was a bill which forbids school districts from scheduling the first day of the school year more than 10 days prior to Labor Day. 

For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.