Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Announces Recipients of the New Competency-Based Education Grant

Feb 15, 2024

Today, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announces that six individual Missouri school districts and one collective group of local education agencies (LEAs) were awarded more than $2.2 million from the Competency-Based Education (CBE) grant program. Grant recipients include Lebanon R-III, Maplewood-Richmond Heights, Pattonville R-III, Ritenour, Sedalia 200, and Ste. Genevieve R-II, as well as 28 LEAs collaborating on CBE work through the Success-Ready Students Network

LEAs applied to DESE through a competitive grant application process for a maximum grant amount of $400,000. See grant award totals here on DESE’s website.

Districts applied for grants to support eligible local CBE programming, which offer students flexible opportunities to progress, demonstrate mastery, and earn course credit; provide individual learning options; assess proficiency based on attainment of critical knowledge and skills; and assess mastery through performance tasks. 

“These grants provide local educators more opportunities to best meet the unique needs of their students,” Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven said. “Competency-based education programs are truly student-centered, making learning the constant in the equation, and seat time the variable — knowing some students will master certain concepts faster than others. We’re proud to work alongside these innovative educators to reimagine our approach to student success.” 

In 2022, Senate Bill 681 established the CBE grant program and fund, and directed DESE to create a task force to study and further develop CBE programs in public schools.