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Frequently Asked Questions and Educational Topics

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Please follow the links below for information regarding specific offices and programs.  
  • Discipline, Suspension, Expulsion
    Under Missouri law, the local board of education for your school district is authorized to establish “all needful rules and regulations” to govern the operation of your school district, including student discipline. For this reason, the Department does not have the authority to change a student’s suspension or expulsion from school. If you disagree with a decision by school officials, or with the actions of a school employee, we recommend that you review your local school board policy to determine your options for resolving your complaint.  
  • Foundation Formula
    The Foundation Program, or the Foundation Formula, is Missouri’s primary method of distributing money to public schools. Although school districts receive funding for different programs from different sources (local, state and federal), the Foundation Formula is the major source of basic state support for public schools. Created by state law, the formula is a complex mechanism based on several factors:  student attendance; local property tax rates; the proportion of students in a district who are disadvantaged or need special education; if the school district provides summer school; and others. Funds received through the Foundation Formula must be used primarily to pay teachers’ salaries in the school district. This formula is defined in state law, Section 163.031, RSMo.
  • High School Graduation Verification
    To verify that someone graduated from a public high school in Missouri, you must contact the school district where that person attended. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education cannot verify information about individual students. Please use the Missouri School Directory to find the appropriate contact information.

  • High School Transcripts or Diplomas
    To obtain a copy of your high school transcript, you must contact the school district you attended. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not keep individual student records. If the school you attended has closed, your records would have been transferred to the district that serves the area now. To find contact information for a specific school, use the  Missouri School Directory. Most schools do not keep copies of the actual diploma that you were awarded at graduation. These are merely certificates of accomplishment. Your high school transcript is the document needed to prove that you received the appropriate number of credits in order to graduate.

  • HiSET
  • Homeschooling  
    The Department does not regulate or monitor home schooling. There is no registration required with the state. There is no program for the inspection, approval, or accreditation of home schools in Missouri. The state does not provide any curriculum guidance. If your child currently attends a public school, the parent or legal guardian should follow the school’s policy on withdrawing the child from school. If a home-school student is enrolled in a public school, the school will follow local board policy for placement of the student. There is no state recognized high school diploma for home schooled students. Home schooled students may take the high school equivalency examination to obtain a HSE certificate.
  • Who controls my school district? 
    • Under Missouri law (Section 171.011), the board of education for your school district is authorized to establish “all needful rules and regulations” to govern the operation of your school district. Because the law gives such broad authority to your board of education, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does NOT have the power – in most cases – to get involved in disagreements between parents or patrons and school personnel. If you disagree with a decision by school officials or with the actions of a school employee, we recommend that you take these steps:

      • Make sure you are familiar with the school policies that apply to your situation. Is your concern addressed by the student handbook or other school policy document?  Did a school employee act according to the district’s existing policy? (The student handbook and other policies should be available on your school district’s web site.)
      • Document your complaint in writing (what happened and when), so that you have an accurate record of events. You may or may not choose to send this information to school officials at some point.
      • Follow the “chain of command” to resolve your complaint. Discuss your concern with your child’s teacher, if appropriate. You may pursue your concerns with the principal or other building-level administrator. If the issue is not resolved, contact the office of your superintendent, and then your school board.

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