By Peter Franzen, CEAM Director of Development
Back in 1993 Mel Carnahan and Missouri legislature produced what I believe is Missouri’s largest piece of education legislation in our history. The Outstanding Schools Act overhauled and created much of what we take for granted in our state’s educational system today.
According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s own website; “The passage of the Outstanding Schools Act in 1993 signaled Missouri’s commitment to a public school system that purposefully prepares young people for the 21st century and assures our state’s continued economic vitality.”
The 1993 legislation addressed or implemented such things as: The Show-Me Standards – a set of 73 rigorous standards, curriculum frameworks, a new statewide assessment, professional development for educators and professional standards for new educators.
While they were coming up with all these great standards, it must have occurred to someone along the way that there needed to be some sort of consequence for districts that failed to provide a meaningful education for students, so they included this provision, which is now at the center of much discussion and debate. I thought you might like to read it for yourself:
167.131. 1. The board of education of each district in this state that does not maintain an accredited school pursuant to the authority of the state board of education to classify schools as established in section 161.092 shall pay the tuition of and provide transportation consistent with the provisions of section 167.241 for each pupil resident therein who attends an accredited school in another district of the same or an adjoining county.
2. The rate of tuition to be charged by the district attended and paid by the sending district is the per pupil cost of maintaining the district’s grade level grouping which includes the school attended. The cost of maintaining a grade level grouping shall be determined by the board of education of the district but in no case shall it exceed all amounts spent for teachers’ wages, incidental purposes, debt service, maintenance and replacements. The term “debt service”, as used in this section, means expenditures for the retirement of bonded indebtedness and expenditures for interest on bonded indebtedness. Per pupil cost of the grade level grouping shall be determined by dividing the cost of maintaining the grade level grouping by the average daily pupil attendance. If there is disagreement as to the amount of tuition to be paid, the facts shall be submitted to the state board of education, and its decision in the matter shall be final. Subject to the limitations of this section, each pupil shall be free to attend the public school of his or her choice.
If you feel your child attending St. Louis Public Schools or River Gardens School District is not receiving a quality education in these unaccredited districts, the law is on YOUR side.
You can read this Missouri Revised Statute and the rest here: