2021 Key Education Legislation

Bills below, which become law, are effective August 28, 2021.

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

HB 297 (Wallingford)

The State Board of Education, in consultation with the Career and Technical Advisory Council, shall develop a statewide plan establishing the minimum requirements for a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Certificate. The statewide plan shall match workforce needs with appropriate educational resources. DESE shall convene work groups from each CTE program area. Such work groups shall develop and recommend performance standards or course competencies. DESE shall develop written model curriculum frameworks for CTE programs, which shall not be subject to certain limits on performance standards provided under existing law, as described in the bill.

Signed by Governor, 7/14/2021

HB 349 and SB 86 (Christofanelli and Hegeman)

This bill creates the "Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program" and specifies that any taxpayer may claim a tax credit, not to exceed 50% of the taxpayer's state tax liability, for any qualifying contribution to an Educational Assistance Organization (EAO). The cumulative amount of tax credits issued in any one calendar year begins at $25 million and may be adjusted by the state treasurer annually based upon inflation with a maximum cap of $50 million. 

A qualified student may receive a grant to be deposited in the student's Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Account if he or she is a resident of Missouri and resides in any county with a charter form of government or any city with at least 30,000 inhabitants, and has an IEP or has attended a public school as specified in the bill, is entering Kindergarten or first grade, or is attending school for the first time. Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts are renewable on an annual basis. Moneys deposited into the account shall be used for specified services and fees, but may not be payments to any person related within the third degree of consanguinity to the qualified student. If a qualified student withdraws from the program, is disqualified from the program, or graduates, the student's account shall be closed and remaining funds shall be returned to the EAO for redistribution to other qualified students.

Creates the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Board and limits the number of EAOs to a total of 10.

Signed by Governor, 7/14/2021

HB 432 (Kelly)

Seclusion and Restraint in Public Schools

Defines "restraint" and "seclusion" and requires school districts, charter schools, or publicly contracted private providers to include in policy a prohibition on the use of restraint and seclusion, including "prone restraint" as defined by the bill, for any purpose other than situations or conditions in which there is imminent danger of physical harm to self or others. Any incident requiring restraint or seclusion shall be monitored by school personnel with written observation.

Breast Feeding in Public Schools

Requires DESE to develop a model policy, by January 1, 2022, relating to accommodations for breastfeeding. Public school districts must adopt a written policy by July 1, 2022.

IEP or Section 504 Recordings

Prevents any public school districts and charter schools from prohibiting a parent or guardian from audio recording any meeting held under the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or a Section 504 plan meeting (Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973).

Montessori Schools

Changes the definition for a "Montessori school" in Section 210.201 as it applies for Sections 210.201 to 210.257 to either an accredited school or a school maintaining an active school membership with a professional society represented by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education.

Sheltered Workshop Wages

Directs DESE to permit sheltered workshops to pay disabled persons commensurate wages, defined as wages based on the disabled person's productivity in proportion to the productivity of an experienced non-disabled person in a similar job and that may be lower than the state minimum wage. The sheltered workshop shall provide written assurance to the DESE that such wages shall be reviewed and adjusted periodically and no sheltered workshop shall be permitted to reduce the agreed-upon wage rate for a period of two years after approval without prior authorization from DESE.

Signed by Governor, 7/14/2021

SB 86 (Hegeman)

Prohibits the contribution or expenditure of public funds by any school district or by any officer, employee, or agent of any school district: to support or oppose the nomination or election of any candidate for public office; to support or oppose the passage or defeat of any ballot measure; to any committee supporting or opposing candidates or ballot measures; or to pay debts or obligations of any candidate or committee previously incurred for the above purposes.

Signed by Governor, 7/14/2021