- House Committee Substitute -

HCS/SB 944 - This act specifies that prohibitions on student possession of weapons under Section 160.261, RSMo, (requires one year suspension) and possession of weapons or controlled substances under Section 167.117, RSMo, (requires reporting to law enforcement), as well as the prohibition on student possession of controlled substances, shall apply to the school playground or parking lot, school bus, or school activity whether on or off the school property. The act also requires that the information annually reported by school districts shall include the rates and durations of and reasons for suspensions and expulsions of pupils.

On or before July 1, 2001, the State Board of Education shall add to school facilities and safety criteria requirements that each school district's safety coordinator have a thorough knowledge of all school violence programs and resources, and that each school district fully utilize necessary and cost-effective programs and resources. The act also allows a school district to transfer an amount equal to the capital expenditures for school safety and security purposes from the incidental fund to the capital projects fund.

School districts may disclose education records to law enforcement and juvenile justice authorities, if the disclosure concerns either law enforcement's or juvenile justice authorities' ability to serve the student prior to adjudication. The entity receiving such information must comply with applicable federal restrictions. Currently, juvenile officers must notify a school district when a petition alleging an enrolled pupil has committed certain acts. The act extends this duty to any law enforcement authority. The superintendent shall also be notified upon the disposition of the case. A superintendent who in good faith reports information regarding the allegations to teachers or other employees shall not be civilly liable. Upon the transfer of any such pupil to another school district, the superintendent shall forward the notification to the new superintendent.

The act specifies that a conference may be held with the superintendent at the request of a parent or guardian if a student attempting to enroll in a school district during a suspension or expulsion from another school district, including an in-state or out-of-state, private, charter or parochial school district.

The act requires a minimum annual transfer of four million dollars of sales tax revenues to the Video Instructional Development and Educational Opportunity Fund. This provision is similar to HB 1713.

A petition for the limited appointment of a guardian of a minor may be filed for the sole purpose of school registration or medical insurance coverage. Such a petition may not be combined with a petition for conservatorship. The court may proceed with the appointment without obtaining service on the parents of the minor, if the petitioner files an affidavit that the whereabouts of the parents remains unknown despite petitioner's diligent efforts to locate them.

The act creates the crime of trespass on a school bus, a Class A misdemeanor. This provision is similar to SB 590 and HB 2023. The act also creates the crime of making a terrorist threat, for communicating a threat to commit a felony, a false report of a felony, or false report concerning any catastrophe, if the reports were made knowingly. The crime is a Class D felony if made with reckless disregard of the risk of causing the evacuation of building; otherwise, it is Class C felony.