JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Recent discussions have led one Representative to file legislation seeking an in-depth study of Missouri’s charter schools.
Under HB 2531, sponsored by Rep. Kathryn Swan, the “Charter Schools Task Force” would consist of various school officials, teachers, and administrators with the task of evaluating charter schools, including a comparison of Missouri with other states.
Findings and recommendations from the task force would be provided to the Governor, the Speaker of the Missouri House, the President Pro Tem of the Missouri Senate, the Joint Committee on Education and the State Board of Education by December 1, 2019.
“Since the inception of the charter school program nearly 20 years ago, the program has veered off track,” said Swan. “Initially, charter schools were to become schools of innovation. Additional flexibility was granted to help the schools innovate and create.”
The program has become a patchwork of legislation over the past two decades and it is critical to study the issue prior to taking any action to revise or expand the current charter school program in Missouri, according to Swan.
“We have a responsibility to provide all students with a high-quality education in every public school,” said Swan.
The task force would study the mission of charter schools; funding of charter schools; the overall functioning of charter schools; academic performance and accountability standards for charter schools; demographics of students attending charter schools, including the enrollment and treatment of students with disabilities and students who are English language learners in charter schools; governance of charter schools; management of charter schools; oversight responsibility for charter schools; sponsorship of charter schools; and fiscal responsibility in the operation of charter schools.
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined The Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University.