Charter school expansion heads to governor

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bill that could potentially expand charter schools statewide is on its way to the governor for signature.

Legislation passed both chambers of the General Assembly Tuesday to offer greater opportunity for charter schools with support of both Republicans and Democrats.

Many Democrats, including Assistant House Minority Floor Leader Tishaura Jones, joined Republicans in contending that expansion of charter schools could help improve the educational opportunities for urban students.

“This is something that is near and dear to my heart and my constituents who have contacted me about the good things that go ion in charter schools and the bad,” Jones said. “Hopefully this bill can remedy some bad, and promote most of the good.”

The House legislation was sponsored by Rep. Todd Richardson. Richardson said charters provide “another tool in the arsenal” to help educators reach students.

“What we have before us is a bill that dramatically improves charter schools and provides expansion and accountability,” Jones said in a floor debate. Reacting to some criticism from rural lawmakers that the schools would somehow damage outstate schools, Richardson said “this bill in no way upends the fundamental nature of our outstate districts.”

House Education Committee Chairman Scott Dieckhaus, a proponent of charter schools, praised Tuesday’s action. The legislation passed the House in a 99 to 54 vote.