For Immediate Release: June 25, 2014

Higher Education Legislation Carried Through the Upper Chamber by Sen. Pearce Signed by Governor

JEFFERSON CITY — The governor recently signed House Bill 1389, handled in the Senate by Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, which gives the responsibility of a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) in Missouri to the Coordinating Board of Higher Education.

“Allowing a reciprocity agreement among schools in other states will have long-term benefits for Missouri students,” said Sen. Pearce. “Traditional classes can occasionally be difficult for non-traditional students. Allowing for this exchange of credits between schools, especially in an online or distance program, will allow for high-quality education with potentially lower costs.”

Attempting to create an efficient and uniform system of quality standards for online or distance education, SARA allows states to better provide an education across state lines. By taking on this voluntary agreement, students will have improved access to distance education that will apply to their education and the higher education institutions as a whole, as well as the overseeing state board, while better regulating the schools and classes that are applicable.

Nationwide, Missouri is the eighth state to accept the agreement, and the third to join from the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. The four regional compacts will be administering the program.

“Part of the challenge of distance learning is the chance that enrolling in an online class doesn’t always mean that class will work with a student’s educational goal,” said Sen. Pearce. “Online classes and distance learning can be a gamble, both with a student’s time and money. Utilizing a reciprocity agreement helps to ensure classes are regulated and use similar evaluation methods so credits will advance a student’s education.”

With the governor’s approval, HB 1389 is set to take effect Aug. 28.

To stay current on any other legislation sponsored or handled by Sen. Pearce, visit