The Senate Education Committee gives approval to bills on open enrollment and virtual learning

Goff Justice announces a $20 million expansion of nursing education programs

Education legislation is nearing the finish line this legislative session as the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee signed off on a series of bills on Thursday.

Among them were two bills already passed by the House of Representatives: an open enrollment bill and a virtual education bill.

HB 253, sponsored by Rep. Brad Pollitt, R-Sedalia, Missouri students will be allowed to apply for transfer to another public school district that chooses the program. While districts must sign up to accept students, districts that do not sign up for the program cannot prevent students from leaving. The number of transfers outside a region may not exceed three percent of the previous year’s registration.

HB 827, sponsored by Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, aims to overhaul implementation of the previous year’s legislation that allowed parents to enroll students in a virtual school through a third-party provider and remove the requirement for district permission to attend a virtual school, Cristofanelli said. At the bill hearing. He said the bill makes it clear that parents will approach areas that operate with virtual programs to begin the enrollment process, not their current residential area. SB 545, sponsored by Sen. Caleb Rowden, Republic of Columbia, is similar to Christofanelli’s bill and also passed by the committee.

SB 166, sponsored by Sen. Jill Carter, R-Granby, prohibits cities and districts from dictating or interfering with the curricula, concepts, subjects, staffing decisions, or practices of any school within their boundaries.

SB 363, sponsored by Sen. Stephen Roberts, D-St. Louis, allows the St. Louis City School Board to fill school board vacancies by appointment if they occur outside the regular election cycle, as other districts currently do.

SB 381, sponsored by Sen. Holly Thomspon Rehder, R-Sikeston, will convert a half-credit hour of health education required in high school into “health and family education” credit with an emphasis on public health, parenting and social services.

SB 410, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, would require any higher education institution to certify to the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development that it does not require students to agree to DEI ideologies or answer relevant questions during their applications. Ask students to make statements about DEI ideologies for student admission, provide incentives for DEI coursework for students or employees, require employees involved in instruction to agree with statements of DEI ideology, consider employee statements about DEI ideologies in hiring decisions, or require employees To study or get instruction at DEI. It also requires medical schools to use the Medical College Admission Test for admission, except for schools that offer joint bachelor’s and doctoral programs.

Prior to adopting an alternative to the committee, the bill would have required the MCAT for all medical schools, but providing the alternative with regard to schools with joint programs would exclude programs such as those of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Koenig told the committee that the bill will need more work and that he intends to check in with affected organizations.

These bills will head to the Senate floor.