For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2015
Contact: Matt Michelson
(573) 751-2272
General Assembly Sends Bill to Guarantee a Quality Education to Every Missouri Child to Governor’s Desk

Measure Also Includes Additional Local Options for Students

JEFFERSON CITY — After hours of work and an overwhelming bipartisan vote, the General Assembly advanced House Bill 42 to the governor’s desk this week. The measure contains a statewide, long-term policy that will make some systemic changes to Missouri’s education system. Senate Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, said this bill also directly addresses the current challenges to guaranteeing every child in Missouri equal access to a quality education.

“It is important to remember that the only kids in Missouri who currently have no choice as to the school they attend are those from families too poor to change their zip code or pay for an educational alternative,” said Dempsey. “We believe in an equal opportunity in education for every child. Having educational choices will also strengthen our public school system and protect children from failure.”

Bill handler, Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, said this bill is a result of hours of hard work and cooperation.

“I think everyone in this body wants the same thing, and that is the best opportunity for all of our students and all of our children in the state of Missouri,” said Pearce. “We have some districts that are hurting, and we have some districts that need our help, and we can no longer turn our backs on these students and just say that's ‘too bad.’”

The major goal of this bill is to reduce the number of students transferring out of their home districts so they can get a good, quality education close to home. House Bill 42 addresses transfer options for students attending unaccredited school buildings and districts. The Senate has also included ways to support additional local options for students in failing districts. Students enrolled in unaccredited schools and districts will be able to transfer to another accredited school building in the district, transfer to a local charter school or enroll in a virtual school. Instead of designating an entire school district as unaccredited, the department will also accredit each school building individually. The bill also adds important accountability measures for charter schools.

Pearce also said the Senate had some guidance this year from the governor’s office.

“We have direction from the governor this year. He has reached out to us and provided input. We are cooperating on both sides of the aisle, and the governor is listening,” said Pearce.

The measure now moves to the governor’s desk for consideration. To learn more about these bills or to track their progress, visit