Public schools focus on first-day talk in state legislature

Jan 5, 2012

The 2012 Missouri legislative session is underway – and as St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin tells us, much of the first-day talk revolved around the challenges facing the state’s public schools.

In addition to Missouri’s K-through-12 schools not being fully funded, suburban school districts near St. Louis and Kansas City may be forced to accept thousands of transfer students from the inner cities, thanks to the State Supreme Court’s ruling in Turner vs. Clayton. 

House Speaker Steven Tilley says any solutions to those problems should include tuition tax credits for kids in unaccredited areas, and statewide expansion of charter schools: “Since I’ve been up here for seven years, every year we try and go outside the box and try and do something with education reform, and every year they come up with reasons why ‘no, you can’t do that,’ and ‘no, we shouldn’t do that,’ so we end up getting the status quo.”

House Democrats say they don’t want all of Missouri’s K-through-12 issues lumped into one wide-ranging bill that could divide lawmakers and fail to pass.