2022 Key Education Legislation

Bills below, which become law, are effective August 28, 2022. 

Please note that the links below are to the Missouri General Assembly's website.


SB 681 (O’Laughlin)

Drinking Water in Schools
This act establishes the "Get the Lead Out of School Drinking Water Act."

Beginning in the 2023-24 school year and for each subsequent school year, each school shall provide drinking water with a lead concentration below five parts per billion (5 ppb). On or before January 1, 2024, each school shall complete requirements outlined in the act including: conducting an inventory of all drinking water outlets and outlets used for dispensing water for cooking or cleaning utensils in each school building, develop a plan for testing each outlet and make such plan available to the public and providing general information on the health effects of lead contamination to employees and parents of children at each school. Schools shall prioritize early childhood, kindergarten, and elementary school buildings in updating and filtering drinking water outlets for lead as stated in the act. Subject to appropriation, the Department of Natural Resources, with support from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Health and Senior Services, is authorized to give schools additional funding for filtration, testing, and other remediation of drinking water systems.

Child Abuse and Neglect in Schools
The act repeals language related to the jurisdiction of the Children's Division within the Department of Social Services and its ability to investigate reports of alleged child abuse by personnel of a school district, a teacher, or other school employee. It also repeals language related to how a school and school district are to handle reports of alleged child abuse.

Show Me Success Diploma Program
This act establishes the Show Me Success Diploma Program as an alternative pathway to graduation for high school students. A student may earn the Show Me Success Diploma beginning at the end of the 10th grade. By July 1, 2023, DESE shall develop detailed requirements for students to become eligible for the Show Me Success Diploma.

Students who earn a Show Me Success Diploma may elect to remain in high school. Alternatively, a student having earned the diploma may instead enroll in a qualifying postsecondary educational institution. For each student enrolled in such an institution, an amount equal to 90 percent of the pupil's proportionate share of the state, local, and federal aid that the district or charter school receives for such student shall be deposited into a higher education savings account that lists the student as the beneficiary.

Adult High Schools
For a school to meet the definition of "adult high school" under current law, the school shall offer on-site child care for children of enrolled students, in addition to other requirements provided in current law. This act repeals the on-site requirement for such childcare. Additionally, current law prohibits adult high schools from offering a majority of instruction online or remotely. This act provides that synchronous instruction connecting students to a live class at a Missouri adult high school shall be treated as in-person instruction. Further, current law prohibits any person from establishing, operating, maintaining, or advertising a child care facility without a license, with an exception for any private, elementary, or secondary school system providing child care to children under school age. This act provides that adult high schools shall be deemed a "secondary school system" for purposes of such exception.

Missouri Advisory  Board for Educator Preparation
Under this act, the Missouri Advisory Board for Educator Preparation (MABEP) shall include at least three active elementary or secondary classroom teachers and at least three faculty members within approved educator preparation programs. The MABEP shall hold regular meetings that allow members to share needs and concerns and plan strategies to enhance teacher preparation. Under the act, the State Board of Education (State Board) shall, in consultation with MABEP, align literacy and reading instruction coursework for teacher education programs. All reading and special education certificates shall include training as outlined in the act.

School Innovation Waivers
Under this act, a school innovation team may submit a state innovation waiver plan to the State Board for certain purposes, including improving student readiness for employment, higher education, vocational training, technical training, or any other form of career and job training; increasing the compensation of teachers; or improving the recruitment, retention, training, preparation, or professional development of teachers.

The State Board may grant school innovation waivers to exempt schools from requirements imposed by current law, or from any regulations promulgated by the State Board or DESE. If a school innovation waiver is granted to a school district or group of school districts, the waiver shall be applicable to every elementary and secondary school within the school district or group of school districts unless the plan specifically provides otherwise. Any waiver granted under this act shall be effective for no longer than three school years, but school innovation waivers may be renewed. No more than one school innovation waiver shall be in effect with respect to any one elementary or secondary school at one time.

The State Board shall not authorize the waiver of any statutory requirements relating to teacher certification, teacher tenure, or any requirement imposed by federal law.

Reading Instruction
The State Board, in collaboration with the Coordinating Board for Higher Education and the Commissioner's Literacy Advisory Council established by the act, shall develop a plan to establish a comprehensive system of services for reading instruction. The State Board shall also create an Office of Literacy and shall take other actions relating to improving literacy set forth in the act. The act also creates the Evidence-based Reading Instruction Program Fund, to be used for purposes set forth in the act.

Competency-Based Education Grant Program
This act establishes the Competency-Based Education Grant Program and Fund. By application, DESE shall award grants from the fund to eligible school districts for the purpose of providing competency-based education programs. DESE shall facilitate the creation, sharing, and development of course assessments, curriculum, training and guidance for teachers, and best practices for the school districts that offer competency-based education courses.

Competency-Based Education Task Force
This act establishes the Competency-Based Education Task Force to study and develop competency-based education programs in public schools. The Task Force shall conduct interviews and at least three public hearings to identify promising competency-based education programs and obstacles to implementing such programs. By December 1 of each year, the Task Force shall present its findings and recommendations to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Joint Committee on Education, and the State Board.

Holocaust Education
Under this act, the second week in April shall be designated as "Holocaust Education Week."

DESE shall develop a curriculum framework of instruction for studying the Holocaust. Such curriculum framework shall be made available to up to 25 school districts or schools within a district as a pilot program in consultation with the Holocaust Education and Awareness Commission beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Each participating school district shall provide a plan of professional development for teachers. The pilot program shall start in participating school districts in the 2023-24 school year and shall be expanded to include all school districts by the 2025-26 school year. DESE shall provide for an evaluation regarding the success and impact of the pilot program upon completion of the first year of the pilot program and shall report the results of such evaluation to the General Assembly.

School Board Community Engagement Policy
Before July 1, 2023, school districts and charter schools shall adopt a community engagement policy based on community input that provides residents a method of communicating with the governing board of the school district or charter school. The policy creates a process for items related to educational matters to be added to the board agenda. The policy components are set forth in the act.

Public Schools Accountability Under the act, any individual public elementary school, secondary school, charter school, or school district that is in the bottom 5 percent of scores on the annual performance report shall mail a letter to the parents and guardians of each student in such school or district informing the parents and guardians of the score and any options available to such students as a result of the school's or district's current status. Special school districts and any state operated schools in which all of the students enrolled are students with disabilities are exempted from this provision.

School Board Districts
This act allows for any seven-director school district or an urban district to be divided into subdistricts, or a combination of subdistricts and at-large districts, and provides for the process for the election of subdistrict board members. The act allows for the division process to be submitted to a vote of the district either by a majority vote of the school board or by an initiative petition signed by 10 percent of the number of votes cast in the most recent school board election. If the ballot measure to divide the district is passed, the act provides direction on conducting public hearings and the final development of plans to carry out the division of the district. The required details of the plan proposal are outlined in the act. Subdistricts shall be of contiguous and compact territory and as nearly equal in population as practicable.

The act contains appeals language for any resident of the district that objects to the division of the district by the election authority, and prevents any district that votes to divide from making changes for five years after the division.

Gifted Children
Under current law, when a sufficient number of children are determined to be gifted and their development requires programs or services beyond the level of those ordinarily provided in regular public school programs, school districts may establish special programs for such gifted children. Approval of such programs shall be made by DESE based upon project applications submitted by July 15 of each year.

Under this act, if three percent or more of students enrolled in a school district are identified as gifted, the district is required to establish a state-approved gifted program for gifted children. If a school district has an average daily attendance of 350 students or fewer, the district's gifted program shall not be required to provide services by a teacher certified to teach gifted education. Any teacher who provides gifted services through the program, and is not certified, shall annually participate in at least six hours of professional development focused on gifted development. These provisions shall apply starting in the 2024-25 school year. Approval of such programs shall be made by DESE based upon project applications submitted at a time and in a form determined by the DESE.

Special Education Reimbursement
Currently, DESE will reimburse school districts for the costs of special education for high-needs children with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) exceeding three times the current expenditure per average daily attendance as calculated on the District Annual Secretary of the Board Report for the year in which the expenditures are claimed. This act states that any money reimbursed to a school district with 500 or fewer students is excluded from such calculation.

Competency-Based High School Credits
Under this act, school districts and charter schools shall receive state school funding under the foundation formula for high school students who are taking competency-based courses offered by their school district or charter school. Attendance of a student enrolled in a competency-based course shall equal the product of the district or charter school's prior year average attendance percentage multiplied by the total number of attendance hours normally allocable to a non-competency-based course of equal credit value.

Dollar Value Modifier
Under this act, the Gasconade County R-II, Maries County R-II, and the West St. Francis County R-IV school districts, which all cross county lines, shall each use the dollar value modifier of the county with the highest dollar value modifier.

School District Residency Tuition Waiver
For all school years beginning on or after July 1, 2023, this act allows any person or a beneficiary of a trust that owns residential or agricultural real property in any school district, and pays a school tax of at least $2,000 in that district and owned property for at least four years, may send up to four of such owner's or beneficiary's children to a school within that district, excluding a charter school, without a tuition payment, upon notification to the district at least 30 days prior to enrollment, and the district shall count that child for the district's average daily attendance.

Braille Instruction
This act establishes the "Blind Students' Rights to Independence, Training, and Education Act" or the "BRITE Act". The act provides definitions for "accessible assistive technology device," "adequate instruction," and "nonvisual access and skills" among other definitions. The act requires blind and visually impaired students to have an Individualized Education Plan or Individualized Family Support Plan that shall specify results obtained from evaluations on reading and writing skills, and should include the need for instruction in Braille or the use of Braille. All instruction in Braille reading and writing shall be sufficient to allow a student to effectively and efficiently communicate at an appropriate age level. The act requires educators hired to teach Braille, accessible assistive technology, and orientation and mobility, to hold a valid certificate as outlined in the act. The act requires school districts to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act even during declared emergencies, to bear the cost of any required eye report, and to develop nonvisual accessibility policies to reduce or eliminate common barriers for blind individuals.

Reading Intervention
The act changes the term "reading intervention plans" to "reading success plans" throughout the act and applies provisions regarding such plans to charter schools. The development of guidelines for formulating policies for such plans is changed from the State Board to DESE.

Each school district and charter school shall have on file a policy for reading success plans. The reading success plans shall provide all parents and guardians of students with a plan that includes suggestions for regular parent-guided home reading. Each school district and charter school shall provide intensive reading instruction to students as set forth in the act. The act repeals provisions relating to reading assessments and now states that school districts and charter schools shall assess all students enrolled in kindergarten through 3rd grade at the beginning and end of each school year for their level of reading or reading readiness. Additionally, all school districts and charter schools shall assess any newly enrolled student in grades one through five for their level of reading or reading readiness.

At the beginning of the school year, each school district and charter school shall provide a reading success plan to any student who exhibits a substantial deficiency in reading or has been identified as being at risk of dyslexia. Each school district or charter school shall ensure the parent or guardian of any student in kindergarten through 3rd grade who exhibits a substantial deficiency in reading and shall provide them with information listed in the act. If a student has a substantial reading deficiency at the end of 3rd grade, promotion or retention of the student shall be discussed by the student's parent or guardian and appropriate school staff. School districts and charter schools shall provide students identified as having a substantial reading deficiency with certain services as set forth in the act.

Recovery Programs for High School Students
Under this act, the Commissioner of Education may approve and authorize up to four pilot recovery high schools to be established and operated by individual public school districts or groups of such districts. Recovery high schools shall serve as an alternative public high school setting and recovery program for students in recovery from substance use disorder or substance dependency, or such a condition along with co-occurring disorders as described in the act, who would academically and clinically benefit from placement in the recovery high school and who are committed to working on their recovery.

Districts seeking to operate a recovery high school shall submit proposals to the Commissioner by December 1 in the year prior to the first school year in which the school would begin operation. The proposal shall detail how the school will comply with the existing requirements for public high schools as well as how the school will be accredited by a recovery school accreditation organization as described in the act.

Each school district and charter school shall ensure that intensive reading instruction is provided through a reading development initiative to each kindergarten through 5th grade student who is assessed as exhibiting a substantial reading deficiency. Such instruction shall comply with criteria listed in the act.

Teaching Certificates
This act expands on the current licensing process for the visiting scholars’ teacher certification by allowing individuals to obtain a certification to teach if they are employed by a district as part of an initiative designed to fill vacant positions in hard-to-staff schools or subject areas.

The act allows provisionally certified teachers an alternative route to achieve their full professional certification beyond the qualifying score on a designated exam; the details of the alternative route are included in the act.

Substitute Teaching
This act creates a 4-year certificate for individuals that want to substitute teach. Applicants for certification must complete a background check and have at least 36 college hours or have completed a 20-hour online training. Individuals must also have a high school diploma or equivalent. An alternative route to certification is provided for qualified individuals with technical or business expertise or Armed Forces experience and a superintendent sponsorship. Substitute certificates will expire if the individual fails to substitute teach for at least five days or 40 hours in a calendar year. No individual under 20 years old may substitute in 9th through 12th grade.

Until June 30, 2025, this act allows retired teachers that have a substitute certification to substitute teach part-time or as a temporary substitute and not have those hours and salary affect their retirement allowance.

The act also requires DESE to develop and maintain an online substitute-training program with twenty hours of training related to subjects appropriate for substitute teaching. The act authorizes school districts to develop district specific orientations lasting two hours.

Beginning January 1, 2023, the act authorizes substitute teachers that apply for a fingerprint background check the opportunity to submit the results to up to five different school districts for a specified fee.

The act adds a web-based survey to be developed and maintained by DESE that will collect information from substitute teachers at the end of each day of teaching. Districts will provide links to substitute teachers to access the survey, which will contain questions regarding the support and interaction with school staff, student health and safety issues, among other relevant questions.

School District Superintendent Sharing
Beginning July 1, 2023, this act allows a school district that enters into an agreement with another district to share a superintendent to receive an additional $30,000 per year in state aid for up to five years. The act directs districts to spend the additional compensation and half of the savings from sharing a superintendent on teacher salaries or counseling services.

Teacher Career Plans
This act modifies provisions regarding career ladder admission and stage achievement for teachers. Additional responsibilities and volunteer efforts outside of compensated hours may include uncompensated coaching, supervising, and organizing extracurricular activities, serving as a mentor or tutor to students, additional teacher training or certification, or assisting students with college or career preparation. The act increases the state percentage of funding for salary supplements for career ladder from 40 percent to 60 percent and lowers the number of years before a teacher is eligible from five to two years.

Computer Science Courses
This act modifies the definition of "computer science course" by including any elementary, middle, or high school course that embeds computer science content within other subjects. This act requires, for all school years on or after July 1, 2023, certain coursework and instruction in computer science and computational thinking in public and charter high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. Courses and instruction offered under this act must meet certain standards established by the State Board and DESE.

This act requires school districts to submit to DESE certain information related to its computer science courses and demographic enrollment information for such courses. Such information shall be posted on DESE’s website by September 30 of each school year. On or before June 30 annually, DESE shall publish a list of computer science course codes and names with a course description and shall indicate which courses meet or exceed DESE’s computer science performance standards. DESE shall appoint a computer science advisor to implement these provisions of the act.

Beginning July 1, 2023, computer science courses successfully completed and counted toward state graduation requirements shall be equivalent to one science or practical arts credit for the purpose of satisfying admission requirements at any public institution of higher education in the state.

Computer Science Education Task Force
This act establishes the "Computer Science Education Task Force.”

The Task Force shall develop a strategic plan for expanding a statewide computer science education program, as described in the act. The Task Force shall hold its first meeting within three months of the effective date of the act and shall present a summary of its activities and recommendations for legislation to the General Assembly before June 30, 2023. The Task Force shall dissolve on June 30, 2024.

Suicide Awareness & Prevention
Beginning July 1, 2023, this act requires a public school or charter school with pupils in grades seven to twelve that issues pupil or student identification cards to print the 3-digit dialing code that directs calls and routes text messages to the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, 988.

Mental Health Awareness
This act establishes a mental health awareness-training requirement for pupils in public schools and charter schools that shall be given any time during a pupil's four years of high school. Instruction shall be included in the district's existing health or physical education curriculum. Instruction shall be based on a program established by DESE.

Half-Day Educational Programs
Under current law, school boards shall prepare a calendar of attendance, including a minimum term of 1,044 hours of actual pupil attendance and a minimum of 36 scheduled make-up hours for possible lost attendance due to inclement weather. Under this act, for half-day educational programs, the minimum hours of actual pupil attendance and minimum scheduled make-up hours shall be reduced by one-half.

Workforce Diploma Program
This act establishes the "Workforce Diploma Program" within DESE to assist students in obtaining a high school diploma and in developing employability and career and technical skills through campus-based, blended, or online modalities.

Before September 1, 2022, and annually each year after, DESE shall issue a request for qualifications for interested program providers to become approved providers to participate in the program. Each approved program provider shall meet qualifications set forth in the act, including having at least two years of experience in providing adult dropout recovery services.

Advance Placement Exams
This act creates provisions relating to advanced placement examinations. Each institution, which includes in-state public community college, college, or university that offers postsecondary freshman-level courses shall adopt and implement a policy to grant undergraduate course credit to entering freshman students for each advanced placement examination where a student achieves a score of three or higher for any similarly correlated course offered by the institution.

Imagination Library of Missouri This act creates the "Imagination Library of Missouri Program" within the Office of Childhood within the DESE, which shall be a statewide program for encouraging preschool children to read.

Literacy Advisory Council
The Commissioner of Education shall establish a Literacy Advisory Council. The Council shall include members representing stakeholder groups listed in the act. The Council shall provide recommendations to the Commissioner and the State Board regarding any identified improvements to literacy instruction and policy for students as set forth in the act.

Vehicles Used to Transport School Children
This act modifies a definition of "school bus" to include only vehicles designed for carrying more than 10 passengers.

The act also provides that school districts shall have the authority to use vehicles other than school buses to transport school children, specifies that the State Board shall not adopt rules or regulations governing the use of transportation network companies for the transportation of school children, repeals the requirement that drivers of non-school-bus vehicles transporting school children have a school bus driver's license endorsement, and provides that the vehicles other than school buses shall meet any additional requirements of the school district.

The State Board shall not require an individual using a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 12,000 pounds or less for the purpose of providing student transportation services in a vehicle other than a school bus to obtain any license other than a class F license.

Signed by Governor, 6/30/2022

SB 681 and SB 710 (O’Laughlin and Beck)

Individualized Health Care Plans at Schools
This act establishes "Will's Law," requiring individualized health care plans to be developed by school nurses in public schools and charter schools. Such plans shall be developed in consultation with a student's parent or guardian and appropriate medical professionals that address procedural guidelines and specific directions for particular emergency situations relating to the student's epilepsy or seizure disorder. Plans are to be updated at the beginning of each school year and as necessary. Notice must be given to any school employee that may interact with the student, including symptoms of the epilepsy or seizure disorder and any medical and treatment issues that may affect the educational process.

All school employees shall be trained every two years in the care of students with epilepsy and seizure disorders. Training shall include an online or in-person course of instruction approved by the Department of Health and Senior Services. School personnel shall obtain a release from a student’s parent to authorize the sharing of medical information with other school employees as necessary. This act protects school employees from being held liable for any good faith act or omission while performing their duties.

Signed by Governor, 6/30/2022

SB 683 (O’Laughlin)

Office of Childhood
This act modifies current law relating to child care subsidies and child care facility licensing by transferring supervision and implementation authority from the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health and Senior Services to DESE pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order creating the Office of Childhood within DESE.

Day Camps
This act modifies child care facility licensure statutes by adding "day camps," as defined in the act, to the list of facilities exempt from licensure. Under this act, every child care facility shall disclose the licensure status of the facility and parents or guardians utilizing an unlicensed child care facility shall sign a written notice acknowledging the unlicensed status of the facility.

Nathan’s Law
This act excludes from the number of children counted toward the maximum number of children for which a family child care home is licensed up to two children who are five years or older and who are related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to, adopted by, or under court appointed guardianship or legal custody of a child care provider who is responsible for the daily operation of a licensed family child care home organized as a legal entity in Missouri. If more than one member of the legal entity is responsible for the daily operation of the family child care home, then the related children of only one such member shall be excluded. A family child care home caring for such children shall provide notice to parents or guardians as specified in the act. Additionally, nothing in the act shall prohibit DESE from enforcing existing licensing regulations, including supervision requirements and capacity limitations based on the amount of child care space available.

Neighborhood Youth Development Programs
Under current law, neighborhood youth development programs that provide activities to children ages 6 to 17 are exempt from child care licensure. This act changes the age range to 5 to 18.

Signed by Governor, 6/30/2022

HB 1552 (Richey)

Funding for Charter Schools
In addition to any state aid remitted to charter schools, DESE shall remit to any charter school an amount equal to the weighted average daily attendance (WADA) of the charter school multiplied by the difference of:

1) The amount of state and local aid per WADA received by the school district in which the charter school is located, not including any funds remitted to the charter school in the district; and

2) The amount of state and local aid per WADA of the charter school received by the charter school.

When calculating such amount, DESE shall utilize the most current data to which DESE has access.

The funding calculation above shall apply to charter schools operated only in certain locations as stated in the act.

The members of a governing board of a charter school shall be residents of the state of Missouri.

Charter Public School Commission
This act establishes the Charter Public School Commission Revolving Fund in the State Treasury. Sponsorship funding due to the Charter Public School Commission from DESE in the Commission's role as a charter school sponsor shall be deposited into the Fund.

Virtual Education Program
This act modifies provisions relating to the virtual school program.

Student attendance in a virtual program shall only be included in any district pupil attendance calculation or charter school pupil attendance calculation for the calculation and distribution of state school aid using current year pupil attendance for full-time virtual program pupils. Pursuant to an education services plan and collaborative agreement, full-time equivalent students may be allowed to use a physical location of the resident school district for all or some portion of ongoing instructional activity.

A full-time virtual school program serving full-time equivalent students shall participate in the statewide assessment system, with the results to be assigned to the designated attendance center of the full-time virtual school program. The academic performance of any student who disenrolls from a full-time virtual school program and enrolls in a public school or charter school shall not be used in determining the annual performance report score of the attendance center or school district in which the student enrolls for 12 months from the date of enrollment.

The act modifies under what circumstances a school district or charter school shall pay for a student's enrollment in a virtual school course. When a school delineates a policy by which a student may enroll in a virtual school course, such policy shall ensure that available opportunities for in-person instruction are considered prior to moving a student to virtual courses. Such policy shall also allow for continuous enrollment throughout the school year.

The act requires DESE to adopt a policy for students enrolling in a full-time virtual program, with such policy containing information as stated in the act. Each host district shall implement such policy. Virtual school programs shall monitor individual student success and engagement and provide regular progress reports for each student at least four times per school year to the school district or charter school. The act repeals a provision requiring school districts and charter schools to monitor student progress and success.

On or before January 1, 2023, DESE shall create a guidance document that details options for virtual course access and full-time virtual course access for all students in the state. The document shall be distributed as stated in the act.

Signed by Governor, 6/29/2022

>HB 2365 (Shields)

Quality Assurance Report
This act removes the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Department of Social Services from the early learning quality assurance report program. The act removes the designation of the program as a pilot program and extends the program until August 28, 2028. The act authorizes the program to provide continuous improvement and ongoing updated consumer education.

Signed by Governor,  6/7/2022