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Department to Convene Work Group Sessions Regarding Charter School Law

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 04:17

The Department will convene a series of work group sessions beginning later this month to study existing charter school laws and to make recommendations for legislative consideration.

“It is our goal to make sure charter school law is clear and that the law provides an effective means for sponsors to operate in Missouri,” said Dennis Cooper, assistant commissioner in the office of Quality Schools. “We also want to ensure schools are being held to the highest standards so all students receive a high quality education.”

The work group sessions are designed to bring together the charter school community, stakeholders and supporters to identify and recommend regulatory provisions that would further ensure academic gains and overall successes for charter schools throughout the state.

State laws regulating charter schools were created in 1998 and were last amended in 2012. At that time, previous geographic limits allowing charter schools to operate beyond the confines of a metropolitan school district or an urban district with minimum prerequisites were lifted. The number of charter school applications is expected to increase around the state.

The work groups will include representatives from charter schools, the charter school association, teacher and administrator organizations, the business community as well as legislators. Meetings dates are tentatively scheduled for Sept. 24, Oct. 14, Nov. 4 and Nov. 18 in Jefferson City. Recommendations will be presented to the State Board of Education in December.

Ensuring that all students graduate college and career ready is one of the primary goals of the Department’s Top 10 by 20 initiative that calls for Missouri to be one of the top 10 states for education by 2020.