MCPSA Applauds Governor Nixon’s Signing of SB 576
The Missouri Charter Public School Association applauds Governor Nixon’s signing of SB 576, the major charter school legislation passed during the 2012 General Assembly.
“This legislation will provide more families across the state access to quality charter schools held accountable to high standards of academic performance and operational management,” stated MCPSA Executive Director Dr. Douglas Thaman. “We are grateful for Governor Nixon signing the bill.
In his State of the State address last January, Governor Nixon called on the legislature to send to his desk “a comprehensive charter school accountability bill that holds all charter schools – and their sponsors – to high standards of academic achievement and financial integrity.”
SB 576 requires sponsors and schools to sign a performance contract that is the basis for measuring the schools’ performance. SB 576 also answered the Governor’s call by requiring intervention by a charter school sponsor if the school is identified by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as a persistently lowest achieving school, has a high school program that fails to maintain a 70% graduation rate or is chronically underperforming the district’s Annual Performance Report score.
This legislation also greatly increases transparency in a charter school’s agreements with outside management companies and requires a formal evaluation of charter school sponsors every three years by the State Board of Education.
“SB 576 will also expand access to charter schools for Missouri students in a manner recognizing that families in unaccredited and provisionally accredited districts are seeking alternative public education options,” added Thaman, “while only vesting sponsorship authority with the locally elected school boards in fully accredited districts.”
SB 576 passed the State Senate by a wide, bi- partisan vote of 31-2 and the State House by a similar bi- partisan margin of 99-54. The law will go into effect on August 28, 2012.