Issue Background

Charter School Expansion

MSBA supports measures that increase charter schools accountability:

  • Charter schools should be authorized by local boards of education
  • And be subject to the same accountability standards as other Missouri public schools.

MSBA also supports measures include, but are not limited to, requiring approval of a charter school by a majority vote of the voters of the school district in which the charter school would be located.

MSBA Advocacy Position VI. B.

What is charter school expansion: First, charter schools are schools operated with public funds that can enroll students living in the public school districts in which the charter school is established. In Missouri, charter schools are sponsored by Missouri colleges, universities, the Missouri Charter Public School Commission, or a public school district, but the charter schools are frequently operated by for-profit companies. They are governed by a charter school board that is not elected by the public and are not required to even be residents of Missouri.  

Currently charter schools can only be established in the Kansas City School District, the St. Louis School District, in unaccredited public school districts and in some provisionally accredited school districts and only the students living in those districts can attend.  Charter school expansion attempts to open charter schools throughout the state and increase the number of students that can enroll in charter schools.  Advocates are particularly interested in opening schools in larger cities or opening virtual charter schools, that can draw a larger number of students from all over the state to the school and make it more profitable, as state funding relies on student enrollment..  But these advocates are not as interested in increasing accountability measures to ensure  educational outcomes or fiscal responsibility.

Why it matters to your students and community: Students and taxpayers are short-changed when it comes to charter schools. Though they operate with public funds, charter schools are not required to be accountable like  public schools. Charter schools can deny student enrollment, are not accredited by DESE and are not governed by locally elected members of their community.

Legislation to Watch:  SB 25 (Eigel) /HB 729 (O'Donnell) - Charter schools may be operated in any school district located within a charter county as well as in any municipality with a population greater than 30,000.

Impact Map of SB 25 and HB 729

Charter School Expansion 2021
Recovery Charter School Bills