kidsinlibrary
Issue Background

MOCAP

What is MOCAP: Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program (MOCAP) allows private virtual course providers to register with DESE and then allows students to take these courses at the expense of the  local school district.   

Why it matters to your students and community: The MOCAP program allows for-profit companies to educate Missouri students at public expense with little, if any, oversight. Vendors can register with Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to be listed on DESE's website, but DESE has limited ability to refuse a vendor. DESE is not allowed to accredit these vendor programs and has limited oversight over them resulting in unknown educational outcomes.

Legislation to Watch: Senate Bill 55 (O'Laughlin)
Changes to the MOCAP program is one of 6 provisions in this bill. 

Senate Bill 95 (Onder) and House Bill 729 (O’Donnell) morph the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program (MOCAP) into unlimited virtual charter schools by cutting educational professionals out of the decision-making process and allowing parents to enroll directly in for-profit virtual course vendors with the invoice going to the state. These schools have even less accountability for student learning, safety and fiscal responsibility than existing charter schools, and because they are not required to provide buses and buildings and food service and nurses and counselors, their profit margins are greater, but students receive less. Senate Bill 95 and House Bill 729 make it easier for companies to profit from the state of Missouri and Missouri’s students, but do not require these providers to provide a quality education to all students. 

MSBA supports reform of the MOCAP program by:

  • Requiring MOCAP vendors to enroll and fully support ALL public school students who seek to use their services and prohibiting vendors from selectively enrolling students or expelling students from their services without appropriate due process.
  • Providing the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) the legal authority to screen, regulate, monitor and remove vendors from the list of MOCAP vendors to ensure that state and federal law are followed.
  • Requiring MOCAP vendors to be subject to the Sunshine Law, financially transparent, and provide school districts and parents access to the curriculum, information about instructor qualifications and information on student success in the courses offered prior to enrolling a student. MOCAP vendors should be required to immediately provide a school district all information on a district student enrolled in courses through the vendor.
  • Requiring MOCAP vendors to be regularly audited to ensure student data privacy and that the courses meet federal standards for accessibility to the disabled.
  • Requiring statewide test scores to be attributed to the MOCAP provider, not the school district, when the student takes the associated course through the MOCAP provider.
  • Allowing school districts greater flexibility to choose which MOCAP vendor students may use, negotiate rates with vendors, and prohibit students from using a vendor that does not meet district standards.
  • Allowing school districts to refuse to pay for a MOCAP course when the district offers the same or a similar course.

MSBA Advocacy Position VI. K.

TALKING POINTS
Why MOCAP needs to improve to help all kids

Is Senate Bill 55 Really That Bad for Public Education? Yes.

Student Protection - Board Resolution