JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Board of Education has endorsed a plan for assisting and intervening in school districts.
Districts are to be classified in tiers based upon performance, and state involvement would increase as performance worsened. Education officials could tailor what steps are taken based upon the situation within a school district.
The education board approved the framework Friday and directed state education officials to start work toward applying it to specific districts. Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro says the first step is likely to be an overview of districts that are currently unaccredited or have provisional accreditation.
Missouri officials have been considering school plans since a law took effect last year that gave the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education more power to intervene in struggling districts.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Running afoul of Missouri's open government laws could carry a smaller financial penalty but no longer require proof the law was knowingly broken under legislation before a Senate committee.
Officials or agencies now can pay up to $5,000 for a purposeful violation and up to $1,000 for a "knowing" violation. The Senate legislation would reduce the amount of the lesser penalty to $100 and no longer require a violation be committed "knowingly" for there to be punishment.
Supporters say the changes would make enforcement of the Sunshine Law just like that of other statutes.
Organizations representing cities, counties and other local governments are critical. They question levying penalties against people who can be volunteers and who accidently violate an open meeting or public records requirement while serving their communities.