SB 4
Modifies provisions regarding elementary and secondary education
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/12/2023 - H Informal Calendar Senate Bills for Third Reading (HCS) (In Fiscal Review)
Journal Page:
HCS SS#2 SCS SBs 4, 42 & 89
Effective Date:
August 28, 2023
House Handler:

Current Bill Summary

HCS/SS#2/SCS/SBs 4, 42, & 89 - This act creates and modifies provisions regarding elementary and secondary education.

CURRICULUM (Section 160.516)

The act provides that each local school board, charter school governing board, and virtual school governing body shall be required to approve and adopt the curriculum at least two months prior to implementation. Each school board, charter school governing board, and virtual school governing body shall adopt policies to ensure that the approved and adopted curricula are properly implemented in the classroom.


The act provides that school accountability report cards for each public school district, public school building, charter school, and virtual school shall be maintained on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website, as well as the website of each school district, charter school, virtual school, and all attendance centers. The act outlines the type of data that shall be made available on the report card and the means by which any website user may provide feedback on the report card webpage. The act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish an advisory group to continuously make updates and revisions to the report card to improve its usefulness based on user feedback.


The act requires school districts to adopt a policy to address bullying and school discipline. Such policy shall contain a statement that the school prohibits, does not have, and will not adopt a zero-tolerance disciplinary policy that requires disciplinary measures against a pupil who is a victim of bullying or school violence, or who intervenes on behalf of a pupil who is a victim of bullying or school violence. This provision is identical to HB 1087 (2023).

PARENTS' BILL OF RIGHTS ACT OF 2023 (Section 161.841)

This act creates the "Parents' Bill of Rights Act of 2023", which shall be construed to empower parents to enforce rights, as delineated in the act, to access records maintained by schools in which their children are enrolled in a timely manner or as specified in the act.

No school shall require nondisclosure agreements for a parent's review of curricula, and each school shall allow parents, within two business days upon request, to review or make a copy of curriculum documents or to receive such documents in an electronic format, provided that no request would cause an infringement of copyright protections under the federal Copyright Act of 1976. If more than twenty pages are being copied using the school's equipment, the school may, at the school's discretion, charge the parent a fee described in the act. Where the curricular materials being made available to parents for review are subject to copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property protection, the review process shall include technical and procedural safeguards to ensure that the materials are not able to be widely disseminated to the general public in violation of the intellectual property rights of the publisher or any contractual agreements between the publisher and the school, and that content validity is not undermined.

No school shall collect any biometric data of a minor child without obtaining parental consent, except for biometric data necessary to create and issue appropriate school identification cards. A school that collects such data shall ensure that all copies of such data are destroyed within one year of a student's withdrawal of participation in all school activities.

Finally, each school shall notify parents of certain safety incidents and criminal charges filed against teachers, employees, and any guests or visitors to a school, as outlined in the act.


The act provides that any school that provides school-issued electronic devices to students shall implement technology solutions that prohibit students' access to social media sites, video sharing sites, and pornography.

SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS (Sections 162.471, 162.492, and 162.611)

Under current law, any metropolitan school board vacancy that occurs outside of the normal election cycle shall be filled by appointment by the mayor for the remainder of the term. Under this act, a metropolitan school board shall fill any such vacancy by appointment for the remainder of the term. This provision is identical to SB 363 (2023).

Current law also provides that any vacancy on an urban school board shall be filled by special election. Under this act, the remaining members of the board shall fill any such vacancy by appointment until the next school board election. These provisions are identical to HB 914 (2023).


The act changes the weighting of students who receive free and reduced price lunch from 25% to 30% in the calculation of weighted average daily attendance. Under the act, students who are homeless are weighted at 15% in the calculation of weighted average daily attendance.

These provisions are similar to SB 251 (2023) and SB 485 (2023).


The act provides that any school district that operates magnet schools as part of a master desegregation settlement agreement shall not be considered inefficient for purposes of state aid for transportation of pupils attending such magnet schools and shall not receive a penalty for the magnet school transportation portion of the overall transportation budget as a result thereof.

This provision is similar to HB 672 (2023).

TEACHER BILL OF RIGHTS (Section 168.781)

The act establishes the "Teacher Bill of Rights" and outlines certain rights for public school teachers, including the right to be free from physical abuse and protected from verbal, written, or electronically generated abuse; the right to exercise the freedom of speech through the media; the right to be treated with civility and respect; the right to be given classroom preparation time each day during the regular classroom hours; and the right to teach without fear of frivolous lawsuits. The act provides that teachers, administrators, parents, and students shall be fully informed of the rights conferred upon teachers under the act. Each school district shall provide a copy of the Teacher Bill of Rights to teachers at the beginning of each school year, and each school district shall post the Teacher Bill of Rights in a prominent place in each school and administrative building in the district, as well as providing a copy to parents and posting a copy on the websites of the school district and each school that maintains a website.


No school or school employee shall compel teachers to teach, or a student or teacher to personally adopt, adhere to, or profess a position or viewpoint a reasonable person would conclude violates certain public policy expressed in the act including but not limited to: that individuals of any race, ethnicity, color, or national origin are inherently superior or inferior and that individuals, by virtue of their race, ethnicity, color, or national origin, bear collective guilt and are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by others. No school may require a student or employee to attend or participate in a certain training, instruction, or therapy that a reasonable person believes would conclude violates this provision.

This act shall not be construed to prohibit constitutionally protected speech, access to research or study materials, or the discussion or assignment of materials for educational purposes. The act shall not be construed to prevent teachers from discussing current events in a historical context or courses including, but not limited to, African American history, Native American history, women's history, Asian American History and Hispanic history.

The act additionally provides that a school shall post on its website the names of all books required for students and provide parents access to the digital library catalogue for the attendance center where the parent's student is enrolled. In addition, each district, charter school, anbd virtual school shall adopt a written educational material challenge policy that allows any individual to dispute or challenge the district's or school's age-appropriate designation assigned to any book, event, material, or display in the district or school.

Any employee of a school who discloses a violation of these provisions shall be protected from any manner of retaliation as provided by current law.

If a parent learns that a teacher of the parent's student is in violation of the act, then the parent may file a complaint with the school board or charter school governing board, which shall address the complaint in writing within ten school days. If the parent is unsatisfied with the board's resolution of the concern, the parent may file a complaint with the State Board of Education. The Board shall hold a contested case hearing between the parent and the school within 30 days of receiving such a complaint. Upon a determination by the Board that a violation is occurring, a penalty as stated in the act shall apply. If a teacher knowingly engages in multiple or repeated violations of the act, such actions shall be construed as insubordination under current law and may be considered grounds for termination of such teacher's license to teach.


The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop a patriotic and civics training program to prepare teachers to teach the principles of American civics and patriotism. Subject to appropriation, each teacher that completes the training shall receive a one-time bonus of three thousand dollars to be paid by the Department.

This act is similar to SB 451 (2023), SB 158 (2023), SB 776 (2022), SB 653 (2022), HB 482 (2023), HB 627 (2023), HB 1747 (2022), HB 1634 (2022), and HB 1815 (2022).