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MO Senate passes bill allowing quick takeover of failing schools

By   /   February 8, 2013  /   No Comments

PEARCE: The state should take control of schools who lose accreditation immediately.

By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog

ST. LOUIS – Missouri lawmakers want to allow the state education department to take control of unaccredited schools immediately.

The state Senate on Thursday approved by a 32-0 vote Senate Bill 7, which removes the current two-year waiting period before the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education can take over the day-to-day operations of school districts that lose their accreditation.

The bill now moves to the Missouri House.

“Two years is too long for these students to wait,” said bill sponsor Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg. “In some of these cases with unaccredited districts, we must rush in and help. We have students who are languishing. It’s our job as lawmakers to assist them.”

Kansas City schools lost their accreditation last January, spurring this legislation. A similar bill was debated in the Missouri General Assembly in 2012, but didn’t make it through the legislature.

St. Louis schools recently became provisionally accredited after a state takeover.

Pearce’s proposal would allow the local school districts to regain control after two years of provisional accreditation.

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Johnny Kampis is a content editor at Watchdog.org, and is helping to start the organization’s Alabama Watchdog bureau in his home state. Johnny previously worked in the newspaper industry and as a freelance writer, and has been published in The New York Times, Time.com and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.