The Missouri House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee held hearings on two bills last week- HB 138, sponsored by Rep. Bryan Spencer, R-Wentzville, and HB 441, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City.
HB 138 description- This bill changes the Missouri Virtual Instruction Program (MOVIP)
to "The Missouri Course Access Program" (MCAP) and allows any K-12
student to enroll in up to two MCAP courses per year, to be paid by
the school district, if the student is a public school student and
the course is approved by a school counselor.
The bill requires the State Board of Education to provide an easily
accessible link for course vendors on the MCAP website, allows
anyone to submit courses for approval, and requires vendors to
accept monthly payments for students enrolled in their courses.
HB. 441 description-This bill establishes the "Cronkite New Voices Act" and defines
"school sponsored media," "student journalist," and "student media
The act provides that a student journalist has a right to exercise
freedom of speech and of the press in school-sponsored media.
These provisions do not apply to content that is libelous or
slanderous; constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy;
violates federal or state law; or creates a clear and present
danger of the commission of an unlawful act, the violation of
school district policy, or the material and substantial disruption
of the orderly operation of the school.
This bill does not prevent the teaching of professional standards
of English and journalism to student journalists by a student media
The bill requires each school district to adopt a written student
freedom of expression policy which must include reasonable
provisions for the time, place, and manner of student expression.
The policy may include restrictions on speech that may be defined
as profane, harassing, threatening, or intimidating.
The above provisions apply to public institutions of higher
education as well as school districts.