SS#2/SCS/SBs 4, 42, & 89 - This act creates and modifies provisions regarding elementary and secondary education.
CURRICULUM (Section 160.516)
The act provides that each local school board, charter school governing board, and virtual school governing body shall be required to approve and adopt the curriculum at least two months prior to implementation. Each school board, charter school governing board, and virtual school governing body shall adopt policies to ensure that the approved and adopted curricula are properly implemented in the classroom.
The school accountability report cards for the past five years shall be posted on the district's, charter school's, or virtual school's website and shall be posted on the newly created Missouri Education Transparency and Accountability Portal.
ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT CARDS (Section 160.522)
The act provides that school accountability report cards for each public school district, public school building, charter school, and virtual school shall be maintained on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website, as well as the website of each school district, charter school, virtual school, and all attendance centers. The information shall also be provided in a printed document to the parent, guardian, or other responsible person for each enrolled student within five school days of the start of each school year or within five school days of enrollment. The act outlines the type of data that shall be made available on the report card and the means by which any website user may provide feedback on the report card webpage. The act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish an advisory group to continuously make updates and revisions to the report card to improve its usefulness based on user feedback.
PARENTS' BILL OF RIGHTS ACT OF 2023 (Section 161.841)
This act creates the "Parents' Bill of Rights Act of 2023", which shall be construed to empower parents to enforce rights, as delineated in the act, to access records maintained by schools in which their children are enrolled in a timely manner or as specified in the act.
No school shall require nondisclosure agreements for a parent's review of curricula, and each school shall allow parents, within two business days upon request, to review or make a copy of curriculum documents or to receive such documents in an electronic format, provided that no request would cause an infringement of copyright protections under the federal Copyright Act of 1976. If more than twenty pages are being copied using the school's equipment, the school may, at the school's discretion, charge the parent a fee described in the act. Where the curricular materials being made available to parents for review are subject to copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property protection, the review process shall include technical and procedural safeguards to ensure that the materials are not able to be widely disseminated to the general public in violation of the intellectual property rights of the publisher or any contractual agreements between the publisher and the school, and that content validity is not undermined.
No school shall collect any biometric data of a minor child without obtaining parental consent, except for biometric data necessary to create and issue appropriate school identification cards. A school that collects such data shall ensure that all copies of such data are destroyed within one year of a student's withdrawal of participation in all school activities.
Finally, each school shall notify parents of certain safety incidents and criminal charges filed against teachers, employees, and any guests or visitors to a school, as outlined in the act.
MISSOURI EDUCATION TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY PORTAL (Section 161.852)
The Commissioner of Education shall establish the Missouri Education Transparency and Accountability Portal to provide citizens with access to every school's curriculum, textbooks, source materials, and syllabi as provided in the act. The portal shall be fully transparent and available to parents of students enrolled at such schools. The portal shall include the cost associated with speakers and guests used by a school in their professional development activities. The portal shall include names of presenters and distributed materials from all administrator, teacher, and staff professional development and instructional programs offered to schools regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion or social and emotional learning, provided that no such disclosure violates copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property right protection or federal copyright laws. The portal shall include information about school board members and their terms of office. The portal shall also include an easy-to-search database of certain school financial transactions and the basic salaries of school employees. Finally, for programs offered to schools by third-party contractors, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall maintain data on such programs as described in the act.
The act provides that information related to curriculum materials, school board members, and staff professional development programs shall be submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education quarterly and posted on the Missouri Education Transparency and Accountability Portal within seven calendar days of the Department's receipt of such information. Schools' financial information, including employee salaries and financial information relating to third-party contractor programs, as well as charter school debts and information regarding charter school rents and mortgages, shall be submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education not less than twice per year. Information relating to school board members and the members of virtual school governing bodies shall be submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education annually, or within fifteen days of any change to school board or governing body.
Any school that knowingly violates provisions relating to the Missouri Education Transparency and Accountability Portal shall be subject to a penalty of up to $25,000, unless such school proves to the satisfaction of the Department that it is no longer in violation of such provisions.
SCHOOL-ISSUED ELECTRONIC DEVICES (Section 161.854)
The act provides that any school that provides school-issued electronic devices to students shall implement technology solutions that prohibit students' access to social media sites, video sharing sites, and pornography.
WEIGHTED AVERAGE DAILY ATTENDANCE (Section 163.011)
The act changes the weighting of students who receive free and reduced price lunch from 25% to 30% in the calculation of weighted average daily attendance. Under the act, students who are homeless are weighted at 15% in the calculation of weighted average daily attendance.
These provisions are similar to SB 251 (2023) and SB 485 (2023).
STATE AID FOR TRANSPORTATION OF PUPILS (Section 163.161)
The act provides that any school district that operates magnet schools as part of a master desegregation settlement agreement shall not be considered inefficient for purposes of state aid for transportation of pupils attending such magnet schools and shall not receive a penalty for the magnet school transportation portion of the overall transportation budget as a result thereof.
This provision is similar to HB 672 (2023).
DISCUSSION OF CERTAIN CONCEPT AND BELIEFS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS (Section 170.355)
No school or school employee shall compel teachers to teach, or a student or teacher to personally adopt, adhere to, or profess a position or viewpoint a reasonable person would conclude violates certain public policy expressed in the act including but not limited to: that individuals of any race, ethnicity, color, or national origin are inherently superior or inferior and that individuals, by virtue of their race, ethnicity, color, or national origin, bear collective guilt and are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by others. No school may require a student or employee to attend or participate in a certain training, instruction, or therapy that a reasonable person believes would conclude violates this provision.
This act shall not be construed to prohibit constitutionally protected speech, access to research or study materials, or the discussion or assignment of materials for educational purposes. The act shall not be construed to prevent teachers from discussing current events in a historical context or courses including, but not limited to, African American history, Native American history, women's history, Asian American History and Hispanic history.
The act additionally provides that a school shall post on its website the names of all books required for students and provide parents access to the digital library catalogue for the attendance center where the parent's student is enrolled.
Any employee of a school who discloses a violation of these provisions shall be protected from any manner of retaliation as provided by current law.
If a parent learns that a teacher of the parent's student is in violation of the act, then the parent may file a complaint with the Department, which shall send the complaint to the State Board of Education and notify the local educational agency. The Board shall hold a contest case hearing between the parent and the school within 30 days of receiving such a complaint. Upon a determination by the Board that a violation is occurring, a penalty as stated in the act shall apply.
PATRIOTIC AND CIVICS TRAINING PROGRAM (Section 170.370)
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop a patriotic and civics training program to prepare teachers to teach the principles of American civics and patriotism. Subject to appropriation, each teacher that completes the training shall receive a one-time bonus of three thousand dollars to be paid by the Department.
This act is similar to SB 451 (2023), SB 158 (2023), SB 776 (2022), SB 653 (2022), HB 482 (2023), HB 627 (2023), HB 1747 (2022), HB 1634 (2022), and HB 1815 (2022).