Educators across Missouri have been debating the issues of common core state standards and teacher tenure. Missouri National Education Association President, Charles E. Smith, said whatever route Missouri goes, teachers should be involved in the decision.
The bill that could replace national common core standards with a new set of standards developed by Missouri state educators is still sitting on Governor Nixon's desk.
Missouri's most prolific political financier gave nearly $1.3 million to various political causes in the closing weeks of 2013.
Online state campaign finance reports show that retired investment firm executive Rex Sinquefield gave $750,000 to Teachgreat.org, $495,000 to Grow Missouri and $25,000 to Missourians for Excellence in Government during the final weeks of December.
Public records have shown that Missouri's education commissioner provided advice to a group backing a ballot initiative that would end tenure protections for teachers.
Emails show that Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro met with an advocate for the proposed initiative a year ago and provided suggestions about its wording. Nicastro also reviewed a final version of the initiative before it was filed this March with the secretary of state's office.
The Missouri House passed legislation yesterday that would bar school administrators from using teacher seniority in layoffs. Under the bill, teachers' performance would need to be the most important factor in those decisions.