Making Democracy Work

Education Committee

The Education Committee is busy monitoring legislation and compares policy to the League public education positions.

The League stands for:

Support a sound program for financing schools, and school programs, including civics curriculum, for students to develop their full potential.

Support of a communication process involving all segments of the community within each school district.

Support equal opportunity in education with continued efforts to achieve racial and socioeconomic balance and equality within city/county schools.

Action to implement locally the state position of support for equal opportunity in education, access to quality programs, and adequate financing.


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April 2019 Annual Report

The committee continued to research and prepare for the 2019 Legislative session. The issue of charter schools continues to be a challenge. The League believes that charter schools should not be expanded beyond St. Louis City, Kansas City, and unaccredited school districts. We expressed our concern to our representative and senators and sent a letter to the chairperson of the House Education Committee. In addition, we are watching, calling and writing about the Senate bill to establish the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program (SB160). This scholarship will pay for private, parochial or home school costs. A donation to the fund will give the donor a tax credit. We are watching this at the current time.

An experienced education advocate, John Heskett, spoke to the committee about current issues and the process of advocating. The committee is still monitoring the return of the elected school board in St. Louis City which should happen later this spring. An additional concern is the continuing reduction in the allocation of funds for education at the K-12 and college levels. The committee is requesting the extension of the Missouri position on Education from K-12 to pre-K + 12.

Nancy Miller

Charter Schools

Position of League of Women Voters of Missouri on Charter Schools
March 2019 - The League opposes expansion of charter schools in the state for the following reasons.

  • Charter schools are not held to the same standards as traditional public schools. They are "freed" from having to comply with most state regulations that are designed to ensure a minimum level of adequacy. For instance, 100% of faculty in traditional public schools must meet state certification standards, while only 80% of charter school faculty members must be appropriately certificated.

  • Charter schools are not required to serve students with significant disabilities, students who are homeless, and students recently released from juvenile detention programs. As a result, public schools have a higher concentration of students that require significantly more resources.

  • Charter schools lack accountability since they are governed by boards that are privately appointed, not elected. Such boards often employ private for-profit corporations to operate publicly funded charter schools.

  • There is an unsubstantiated bias that charter schools are superior to traditional public schools and therefore provide parents with a better choice. The 10 worst-performing school systems in the state in 2017-18 were charter schools, according to 2017-18 APR data compiled by DESE.

  • Charter schools take state dollars away from traditional public schools.