The Missouri Senate had week packed with committee meetings last week. The Senate Appropriations Commitee held its first meetingof the year to hear an overview of Governor Nixon’s supplemental budget recommendations. Senator Mike Parson, of Bolivar, questioned how the current student laws will affect rural districts.
“I have lots of small districts in my area. So, one of those has problems, is the state going to come in and — I guess — bail them out, or be able to do this,” said Parson. “But, when you’re talking about, you’re going to put kids in different directions here. I guess, for me — I’m kind of curious — how do you pick which kids go where? If you’re going to do multiple school districts, how does you decide whether my kid — for example — goes to one school, or do I have a say in that as a parent, or do they, or…?”
The concern arose during a discussion about allocating funds to unaccredited school districts. Unaccredited school districts remain a major topic of discussion. Senator Shalonn “Kiki” Curls of Kansas City says lawmakers are the ones who created the current situation.
“I think all of us recognize that this is a difficult issue. Our legislation is what created the potential for this to happen,” said Curls. “And so, I think it’s incumbent upon us to also recognize how important it is to figure out what the fix is going to be this year. But I don’t think the answer happens to be that we shut the doors in April and then send the kids to a bunch of different schools. Now I agree it could become a larger potential problem, but I think that’s why we need to fix it.”