Parents are the best advocates for their children’s educational needs. That’s why CEAM engages parents to be active participants in discussions around education policy. CEAM provides multiple opportunities for parents to have a seat at the decision making table by meeting with their legislators, local administration and even the State Board of Education.
Spring break for the Missouri General Assembly provided a good opportunity to get parents and other stakeholders together with their legislators. Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City) met with her constituents Monday, March 17th at the University City Public Library.
In attendance were parents of student transfers, parents of students in Normandy, teachers and taxpayers, all with individual and important concerns. The Senator spoke about how she herself was a product of student transfers and that her mother worked hard and made sacrifices to ensure that she received a quality education.
The Senator also shared the challenges of writing an education bill that addresses all the complexities of dealing with the unaccredited Normandy, Riverview Gardens and Kansas City School Districts. “It’s like playing seven rounds of chess simultaneously.”
Although the Senator expresses support for strong local public schools, she also wants to see the student transfer program maintained and public money to follow students to non-religious private schools as options for families in unaccredited districts. Because of Senator Chappelle-Nadal’s hard work, student transfers and private school choice are making their way through the legislative process.
Some of the topics discussed were how to deal with unaccredited school districts, creating a safe environment conducive to learning, how to support the parents of transfer students and the students themselves, the need for high quality teachers in the classroom and what the future of Normandy holds. The one thing that everyone could agree on is that there is much work still to be done to ensure that all children in Missouri have access to a high-quality education.
~Cici Tompkins, Outreach and Communications Manager