Blue Ribbon Commission


The State Board of Education’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Blue Ribbon Commission was charged with delivering a report to the State Board, which provided a summary of the Commission’s work along with clear action steps, suggested legislative and policy changes, and any other specific and measurable strategies recommended to address teacher recruitment and retention challenges in Missouri. Based on the Commission Goals listed below, the group divided their work into the following phases, representing the two primary factors that contribute to teacher recruitment and retention issues:

  • Phase 1: Teacher Pay
  • Phase 2: Climate & Culture for Teachers

Commission Goals

  • Develop a set of recommendations and clear action steps that address teacher recruitment and retention solutions, incorporating feedback and perspective from a wide range of stakeholders and Missouri citizens.
    • Provide guidance on processes and timelines, as well as the communication tactics and community engagement needed to meet the State Board’s goals of increasing teacher pay and improving retention.
    • Develop strategies for addressing long term and sustainable funding for increased teacher compensation.
    • Establish processes and strategies to attract the next generation of promising Missouri students to pursue a career in education, working to improve lives through education in their home state.
    • Investigate the climate and culture inside and outside the classroom impacting the well-being of our teachers and the respect for the profession as a whole.
  • Assist the State Board in garnering support for the group’s teacher recruitment and retention priorities. This includes guidance on navigating perception challenges from legislators and Missouri citizens, while clearly communicating the impact teacher recruitment and retention improvements could have on Missouri students, the future of public education, and overall economic development in our state.
  • Develop a set of measurable benchmarks for DESE to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the commission’s work.
Commission Phase 2: Climate & Culture for Teachers (April-August 2023)

The Commission continued its work in 2023, shifting its focus to understanding how to strengthen the teaching profession through school climate and culture. While safety concerns, low salaries, funding deficits, and declining mental health have long been major challenges for teachers, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues within the profession. Click here to see the full Blue Ribbon Commission Phase 2 Issue Brief.

Commission Recommendations

The Blue Ribbon Commission presented their final Phase 2 recommendations to the State Board of Education at their meeting August 15, 2023. The Commission’s recommendations fall into four categories: immediate support for classroom management, evidence-based models for reorganizing schools, master teaching certificate, and school and district leadership improvements.

Commission Meeting Dates

Commission Phase 2 Members

Commission Phase 1: Teacher Pay (June-October 2022)

Commission Recommendations

The Blue Ribbon Commission presented their final recommendations to the State Board of Education at their meeting October 18, 2022, detailing immediate, short-term, and long-term solutions to address teacher recruitment and retention in Missouri.

Commission Hosted Public Engagement Meetings

The State Board of Education, in conjunction with the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Blue Ribbon Commission, hosted a series of public engagement meetings (one in each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts) in October and November to:

  • Spread the word about the teacher recruitment and retention challenges in our state 
  • Share the recommendations developed by the Blue Ribbon Commission
  • Ask for buy-in from all Missourians to support efforts to address this crisis

View the meeting series flyer here.

Commission Sought Educator Input

The online surveys for Missouri educators to provide feedback directly to Missouri’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Blue Ribbon Commission closed on August 5. The survey findings were presented to the Commission during their virtual meeting on August 15.

A public hearing for educators to provide feedback in-person took place on Wednesday, August 3 at the Governor Office Building, 200 Madison Street, Jefferson City. The hearing was live-streamed and recorded. Speakers were chosen randomly and asked to provide no more than three minutes of remarks in response to the following prompt: Please share specific policy and practice shifts to improve the educator experience that you would like to see in the Commission’s recommendations to the State Board of Education.

Commission Meeting Dates

Commission Membership

The 17+ member commission shall consist of the following:

  • 5 - 10 Business Leaders
  • 4 Legislators (two representatives and two senators, one from each political party)
  • 3 State Board of Education (State Board)
  • 1 Governor’s Staff
  • 1 Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
  • 2 Educators
  • 1 School Leader

While the commission is limited to the members above, the commission shall have the authority to establish workgroups that will provide expert input and feedback on teacher recruitment and retention strategies.

Click here to learn more about the Blue Ribbon Commission Phase 1 members.

Commission Documents

The following data packets were prepared by The Hunt Institute and shared with Commission members in advance of the group’s meetings.