SB 645
Modifies and creates provisions regarding the use of certain training, instructional, and curricular materials in public schools and charter schools
LR Number:
3574S.04I
Committee:
Last Action:
4/6/2022 - Voted Do Pass S Education Committee
Journal Page:
Title:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
Emergency clause

Current Bill Summary

SB 645 - This act modifies and creates provisions regarding curricula and programs taught in public schools.

This act prohibits the State Board of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from promoting the curriculum to be used in public schools. Each local school board shall be required to approve and adopt the curriculum used by the school district at least six months prior to implementation. Each school board shall adopt policies and procedures to ensure the approved curriculum is properly implemented in the classroom. The act details requirements for the choice of academic class offerings and curriculum materials. At least five years of data showing percentages of students by grade level and proficiency based on state assessment scores shall be posted in the same section as the curricula on the district's website. (Section 160.516).

All professional development and instructional materials offered to schools that are paid for with state funds, whether offered by the Department or another party shall be fully transparent and available to the public as outlined in the act. Program materials shall be available to the public at no charge on the Department's website and program offerings shall be open for public attendance. The act details the posting and retention requirements for program offerings. For programs offered by third parties, the Department shall maintain data and information on its website as outlined in the act. (Section 161.023).

This act creates the Missouri Education Transparency and Accountability Portal. The portal shall be an internet-based tool creating transparency in Missouri's public education system and providing citizens access to every school district's curriculum, source materials, and professional development materials. The portal shall consist of an easy-to-search database including certain information as outlined in the act. The Commissioner of Education shall establish a form that school districts shall complete with the information required by the act. (Section 161.852).

The act modifies provisions regarding courses on American history to provide that courses on American literature shall be given so students gain an understanding of our government institutions. Such courses on American history and literature shall promote an overall positive and comprehensive history and understanding of the United States. (Section 170.011).

Under this act, school districts and charter schools shall publish on its website all training materials used for staff and faculty training, all instructional materials, and all curricular materials related to nondiscrimination, diversity, equity, inclusion, race, ethnicity, sex, or bias, including certain information as described in the act related to instructional materials and curricular materials. Such materials shall be displayed within 7 days after the use of such materials in training or instruction and shall remain displayed for at least 2 years.

No school district shall permit teachers or administrators to require coursework to include, or a grade or credit to be awarded, for a student's participation in certain political or social advocacy efforts described in the act. No school district or charter school shall compel a teacher, administrator, or student to affirm, adopt, or adhere to any belief or concept that racism, sexism, or certain immutable traits are fundamental or blameworthy, as further described in the act.

No school district shall use public funds to contract, hire, or otherwise engage certain persons to speak on or compel support for such concepts or beliefs, except that such person may be engaged to advocate for such concepts or beliefs if the school district makes clear that it does not support such concepts or beliefs and allows students and employees to opt out from participating.

No school district, public school, or charter school may require a student or employee to attend or participate in a certain training, instruction, or therapy that promote such beliefs or concepts.

This act shall not be construed to prohibit constitutionally-protected speech, access to research or study materials, the discussion or assignment of materials for educational purposes if the school district or school makes clear that it does not support the use of beliefs or concepts otherwise prohibited under the act, or the use of curriculum that teaches the topics of sexism, slavery, racial oppression, racial segregation, or racial discrimination.

Any employee of a school district that discloses a violation of this provision shall be protected from any manner of retaliation as provided by current law.

Suit for alleged violations of the act may be brought by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Attorney General, local prosecuting attorney, local county counselor, local circuit attorney, or a local resident. Such suit shall be brought in the circuit court for the city or county in which the alleged violator is located. Upon a finding of a violation, injunctive relief shall be issued to correct such violations. Knowing violations shall result in a civil penalty of up to $1,000, and purposeful violations shall result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000. Knowing or purposeful violations may also result in an award for attorney's fees and costs.

School districts and charter schools may bring suit in the local circuit court at their own expense, or may seek a formal opinion from the Attorney General, to ascertain the propriety of actions and decisions that may violate this act. Such determination may include a review of proposed uses of school resources or particular materials. (Section 170.360).

This act contains an emergency clause. (Section B)

JAMIE ANDREWS

Amendments

No Amendments Found.