A plan to extend charter schools into outstate Missouri is close to approval by the state senate. Charter schools get public money but are not subject to the same level of state regulation as public schools. They exist only in St. Louis and Kansas City now . But Senator Bill Stouffer’s bill lets local school boards sponsor those schools throughout Missouri.
Supporters say charter schools can be more innovative and in providing competition to the public schools, will encourage the public school system to do better.
Stouffer, a former school board member, says his bill not only makes charter schools more available, it makes them more accountable.
University City Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who also serves on that city’s school board, tied up the bill for more than three hours with demands for changes that the senate rejected.
The state education department says Kansas City has 22 charter schools The department lists 19 in St. Louis.