Thursday, March 16, 2017

Davis, Kelley vote against charter school bill, but it narrowly passes

The Missouri House, by an 83-76 vote, passed HB 634, which would expand charter schools.

Charter schools, currently limited to St. Louis and Kansas City, could be established in other areas of the state, including Joplin and Springfield, if this bill becomes law.

The victory was a narrow one since a bill has to be passed by a majority of the complete House, or 82 votes.

The Joplin area delegation split on the bill, with Bill White, R-Joplin, Bill Reiboldt, R-Seneca, Bill Lant, R-Pineville, and Cody Smith, R-Carthage voting for the bill. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, and Mike Kelley, R-Lamar cast dissenting votes.

Charter schools are being pushed nationwide despite no evidence that they are any better than public schools. Opponents note that charter schools take money from public schools.

In order for a charter school to open in Joplin under HB 634, for example, all it would take would be for one of Joplin's elementary schools to receive a failing grade on its annual performance report (APR).

Even if every other elementary school, all three middle schools, and the high school posted the highest scores possible, that failing score would open the door for a charter school and begin the process of draining taxpayer money from the R-8 School District.

If the bill eventually becomes law, it will not go into effect until July 1 of the year after the state's foundation formula is fully funded.

1 comment:

Jo Ellis said...

Much appreciation to my representative, Mike Kelley for voting against this bill. My children and grandchildren have received wonderful educations from Missouri public schools!