CEAM supports policies and practices that will guarantee every Missouri child has access to quality educational options. When families have educational options they will be empowered to make a school choice that meets their unique student’s needs. A student’s right to an education should include all high-quality options that will meet their needs, including district, public charter, virtual, and private school options.
Open enrollment frees families from their assigned traditional public school. There are two kinds of open enrollment:
Intra-district open enrollment allows students to transfer to a different traditional public school within their school district of residence.
Inter-district open enrollment allows students to choose a public school in a district outside the school district where they live.
Expanding High-Quality Charter Public Schools
Charter public schools are publicly funded, nonprofit schools with an independent governing board. They are held accountable by their sponsor (usually a university) for producing positive academic outcomes.
Charter schools are tuition-free schools that are required to enroll all students who live within their boundaries. In order to expand the number of quality charter options available, CEAM believes the following issues need to be addressed:
Provide access to inexpensive or free facilities for charter public schools, such as closed traditional public schools. It doesn’t make sense for a charter public school to pay a lot of money for a building that taxpayers already bought once.
Allow proven operators and sponsors more flexibility for expansion. Charter operators and sponsors who have a proven track record of providing a great education for Missouri kids should have greater opportunities to expand or open additional charter public schools.
Allow students to cross district borders to attend a charter public school. CEAM believes students everywhere should have access to charter schools.
Create a talent pipeline ready to support and grow quality charter public schools. Because charter public schools are more autonomous and innovative than most traditional public schools, they need innovative educators and leaders. Traditional teacher and administrator training usually doesn’t do that.
CEAM supports the effective implementation of Missouri’s new virtual education program – the Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP).
MOCAP gives district schools direct access to a wide range of courses for their students, providing an economical way to give their students the courses they need. Missouri’s new MOCAP system offers cost savings, real-time feedback on student successes, the ability to create your own state-wide courses, opportunities for early graduation, and access to CTE programs.
The new law also gives students the freedom to enroll in a full-time virtual program to meet their schedules and needs outside of a tradtional brick-and-mortar school.
Missouri law allows students who attend school in a district that is classified as “unaccredited” to transfer to a neighboring school district. This law has affected families in the Normandy Schools Collaborative and the Riverview Gardens School District over the past several years.