Bi-Partisan Effort Will Ensure All Students Have Access to a Quality Education
Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, today filed broad-based education reform legislation to ensure that all young people in this state have access to a quality education.
“I’ve been working across party lines in the House and Senate for over three years now, finding common ground on this important issue,” Sen. Chappelle-Nadal said. “Guaranteeing access to a quality education for all young Missourians shouldn’t be a partisan issue.”
The bill would institute building-level accreditation for all public schools. Statistics show that the state’s failing school buildings are predominantly attended by impoverished, African-American students.
“I believe in opening up more options to our young people, not just offering the failed solutions from the past,” Sen. Chappelle-Nadal added.
Sen. Chappelle-Nadal’s bill would allow students trapped in failing school buildings to transfer to an accredited building inside their school district or to other nearby districts. If there is no room, students would be allowed to transfer to nonreligious private schools within their community. Receiving schools would establish class size limits and student/teacher ratios to ensure continued excellence. Only fully accredited buildings would be allowed to receive transfer students.
“It is imperative that we pass education reform now,” Sen. Chappelle-Nadal said. “It would be reprehensible for the General Assembly to continue to abdicate our responsibility and condemn yet another generation of young minds to a lifetime of deficient instruction.”
Among other provisions, the legislation: enhances notification for parents with children attending unaccredited schools; offers free tutoring and supplemental education services for students in unaccredited buildings; allows for extended school days and hours for struggling schools; and provides assistance teams to districts before the situation goes from bad to worse.
The legislation is similar to the School Transfer bills our current governor vetoed in 2014 and 2015.
“We’ve passed bi-partisan education reform legislation twice before, only to have those bills vetoed,” Sen. Chappelle-Nadal concluded. “Now that we have a new governor, I am optimistic we will finally deliver long-overdue results for the children of Missouri.”