SB 740
Modifies and creates provisions regarding elementary and secondary education
Sponsor:
LR Number:
3990S.02I
Committee:
Last Action:
3/29/2022 - Hearing Scheduled But Not Heard S Education Committee
Journal Page:
Title:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2022

Current Bill Summary

SB 740 - This act modifies and creates various provisions relating to elementary and secondary education.

PUBLIC EDUCATION TRANSPARENCY ACT

This act establishes the "Public Education Transparency Act." Under the act, all professional development materials sponsored by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall be posted on the Department's website prior to use. The Department shall not contract with any vendor for proprietary materials that cannot be viewed by the public.

The State Board of Education shall draft standards for the Missouri School Improvement Program that evaluate local school board compliance with certain provisions regarding instructional materials as provided in the act. The Department and every school shall post on their websites certain statements regarding the curricula and instructional materials used and the professional development and training materials used by the Department or school. Such websites shall also detail procedures for parents to opt students out of formal and informal instruction. Such information shall remain displayed on the website for at least two years. Failure to comply with this provision regarding posting of information on the website shall result in a fine of $1,000 per day.

Each school district and charter school shall make available to the public on the district or school website certain financial information regarding the district's or school's budgets, expenditures, vendors, and contracts.

The State Board of Education shall require that all academic standards used to design, implement, assess, and evaluate instruction in public schools reflect a non-indoctrination principle, prohibiting imposition of any orthodoxy of a political, religious, or ideological nature. No school shall direct or compel students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to statements that ascribe character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual's race, sex, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin. Teachers are not permitted to require a student to engage in political activism as part of the grade for a class. No school shall compel a teacher, administrator, or student to adhere to any belief that violates their freedom of conscience or engage in any activity that violates their freedom of speech.

The State Board of Education shall adopt a Missouri School Improvement Program standard that evaluates school districts for compliance with the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and federal civil rights laws regarding employment.

Placement of students in special education settings shall be done in accordance with federal law and without reference to that student's membership in a group identified by sex, race, ethnicity, religion, skin color, or national origin.

The act sets forth judicial remedies for any violations of this act that may be brought by parents or the Attorney General. (Section 160.3100 to 160.3118).

SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS

Currently, school board elections are held at specified election dates as determined by the designation and location of school districts. Beginning in 2024, this act requires school board elections for seven-director school districts, urban school districts, and school districts with subdistricts to be held during the November general election. For all existing school boards not holding an initial election the terms will be staggered and four years in length, as specified in the bill. Any member whose term ends in 2021 or any other odd-number year will serve until the election in the following even-numbered year. (Sections 162.082 to 162.910).

These provisions are similar to HB 361 (2019) and HCS/HB 1424 (2018).

MANDATORY FACE MASKS OR COVERINGS

No public or charter school shall implement or enforce any student dress requirements that include a mask or face covering mandate. No student shall be required, as a condition of school attendance or participation in school-sponsored extracurricular activities, to wear a mask or face covering. (Section 167.029).

MANDATORY COVID VACCINE IN SCHOOLS

No student shall be required, as a condition of school attendance or participation in school-sponsored activities, to be immunized against COVID-19. No student shall be required to alternatively undergo COVID-19 diagnostic testing, provided that nothing in this provision shall preclude a school from requiring a student who has been in close contact with a source of COVID-19 to be tested as a condition of attending school or extracurricular activities. (Section 167.181).

SINGLE-SEX ATHLETICS IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS

Under this act, middle school and high school sports teams which compete against public middle schools and high schools shall be expressly designated as male, female, or coeducational using terms provided in the act.

No athletic team or sport designated for females, women, or girls shall be open to students of the male sex, as assigned at birth.

No governmental entity, licensing or accrediting organization, or athletic association or organization shall take any adverse action, as described in the act, against a school for maintaining separate interscholastic or intramural athletic teams or sports for students of the female sex.

This act establishes a private cause of action for students deprived of an athletic opportunity or who suffers direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this act, students subject to retaliation or other adverse action by a school or athletic association or organization as a result of certain reports of violations of this act, and schools that suffer a direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this act. Such civil action may be brought within two years after the harm has occurred. Prevailing plaintiffs shall be awarded monetary damages, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, and any other relief considered appropriate by the court.

This provision is similar to SB 503 (2021).

JAMIE ANDREWS

Amendments

No Amendments Found.