Katy Luttrull of Lewistown 63452 and author of Katy Said It

Massive Education Reform for Missouri

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A Super Quick Glance at SB727

On May 7, 2024 Gov. Parson signed SB 727 & HB 2287, which essentially is being called the “comprehensive education reform bill,” for the state MO.  It will become effective on August 28, 2024.  Here is a link to that bill: https://www.senate.mo.gov/24info/pdf-bill/tat/SB727.pdf?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTAAAR2CrDbr9DeX1yljLTucVBVNRkcxqzi8lF_ylHUglEm86XPUjq0NcLO5K3Q_aem_AdTP_nIPIXsIIQcesWs2OSHOi_mxKqA-ih1oXwoLQI05YXglfnsUoTKdvVQQosusJVYk6VfGBH53H8m82_xhK5uc

So what does this mean?

Honestly this bill is long, 167 pages to be exact, and has a lot in it.  The original intent of the bill was to expand the MO Scholars program, but of course you know what happens to bills in the legislator…..they grow.  

The Mo Scholars program according to the Missouri State Treasurer webpage: 

“MOScholars was established by the Missouri General Assembly in 2021 to provide educational opportunities and resources to Missouri students and families. The program provides options for eligible families, allowing them to seek an array of alternative educational services ranging from private schools to therapeutic services.

The law provides state tax credits for contributions to approved, non-profit Educational Assistance Organizations (EAOs). These EAOs use the contributions to award scholarships to Missouri students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and students living in low-income households.”

Under the original form of the MO Scholars program the eligible student population was fairly small, it was restricted to charter school counties only.  The reform bill changed the eligibility pool greatly.  Many more students will now be eligible to get a scholarship through MO Scholars and use that scholarship at whatever school they would like, private, public, virtual, charter or what they are referring to as Family Paced Education aka FPE.  FPE is basically home educated but because you are taking the scholarship money you will be under the supervision and scrutiny of the government, meaning you will have to follow guidelines like limited curriculum choices, state testing, yearly lesson plans, and background checks for everyone in the household over the age of 18.

The MO Scholars program is funded through donations by Missouri tax payers.  Taxpayers can donate up to 50% of their tax liability to the scholarship and get a dollar for dollar tax credit.  Essentially, it seems you as a taxpayer have the choice to decide that half of your tax dollars go toward education choice.

Other changes include the ability for charter schools to open in Boone County, previously only allowed in areas like Kansas City and St. Louis.  

It incentives school districts in municipalities larger than 30,000 in population located in charter counties and cities to have a 5 day school week, a 4 day school week must only be decided through a majority vote in the school district.

The bill raises teacher salaries from a minimum of $25,000 a year to $40,000 a year.  It will also increase salaries for teachers with a masters degree and ten plus years of experience to a minimum of $46,000 a year for the 2025-2026 school year and then increase by $1,000 a year until the 2027-2028 school year to the minimum of $48,000.  After the 2028-2029 school year it will increase all teachers salaries by the January Consumer Price Index report, with a cap of 3 percent annually.  While also protecting retirement benefits for educators who continue to teach after retirement. 

Another big change, the bill completely revamps the funding formula of school districts for state dollars. 

This bill includes so much more, but hopefully this gives you a quick glance.

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