JC/DC Critical Issue Alert – State Senate Grows SB 55 Harmful Education Bill

Missouri PTA needs you to contact your Senator today and tell them to support PUBLIC SCHOOLS and vote NO on SB 55!

Senate Bill is being heard on the floor again today.

Majority Floor Leader Senator Rowden changed the original language of Senate Bill 55 by adding the following dangerous provisions –

  • Allows non-resident students to attend charter schools at the expense of the resident district.
  • Charter school funding amendments could create an unfair distribution of funding between charter schools and the school districts they are located in, with no additional accountability required of the charter school.
  • Requiring the accreditation of school buildings with the bottom 10% automatically unaccredited and the bottom 25% provisionally accredited. These buildings are required to adopt plans in conjunction with a “partner” (e.g. Opportunity Trust or others funded by out-of-state interests). Buildings that do not improve are required to consider implementing charter schools. (Similar to House Bill 942)
  • MOCAP expansion (see below) has been amended to guarantee that the for-profit vendors get paid immediately and are less accountable for academic results. It adds more requirements for school districts to advertise the MOCAP program, but limits what districts can share with parents and students regarding the MOCAP options.
  • Mandates reading instruction plans and prescriptive reading interventions, taking professional educators out of the process.
  • Requires districts that do not provide in-person instruction due to COVID-19 to make up the school days, beginning in 2021-22.
  • Requires districts to allow parents to record 504 and IEP meetings.

SB 55 is now a mega bill that still includes these provisions that are hostile to public education.

  • School Board Member Recall: Requires an election to recall a school board member if a petition is submitted signed by at least 25% of the number of voters in the last school board election.
  • Education Scholarship Account/Vouchers: Creates up to $100 million in tax credits for donations to an organization that gives out scholarships for students to attend a home school or private school – including for-profit virtual schools.
  • Charter School Expansion: Authorizes charter schools to be opened in an additional 65 school districts located in Jackson, Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis counties or in cities of 30,000 or more and allows charters opened in provisionally and unaccredited districts to remain open even after the school district regains accreditation.
  • Turning MOCAP into Virtual Charter Schools: Allows students enrolling in MOCAP full time to apply directly to the vendor and cuts the resident school district and professional educators out of the process.
  • Home school students are allowed to participate in MSHSAA activities. Districts are prohibited from belonging to MSHSAA unless home schooled students are allowed to participate in district athletics and activities governed by MSHSAA.
  • Limiting State Board of Education: Restricts members of the state board of education to serve only one full term.”

Missouri PTA advocates are called to ensure your senators understand that you are paying attention and that these issues are important to you!

Please remind your Senator –

As a community, we prioritize the educational standards for all children. We have evaluation standards that must be met for public schools to remain accredited and we oppose efforts to divert funding from public education.  Those standards continue to provide accountability for our schools, quality education for all children, and access to education no matter the ability or situation a child may experience.  That standard is now at risk as this bill is being called to the Senate Floor.  As an advocate for ALL Missouri children, I am opposed to this bill as it works to remove that accountability for schools and the equity of access to a quality education for students. Please support our children and public schools by OPPOSING SB 55!


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Paula McKinney
Vice President of Legislation and Advocacy 
Missouri PTA