The likely next Speaker of the Missouri House wants to see a committee formed to work on education issues in the interim, after some key issues were left on the table in the 2012 session.
Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R-Eureka) says compared to past years when education issues fizzled, the 2012 session was “remarkable” with several passing out of the House.
“We had the charter school bill which became law which I’m very happy with, that became law … We passed the teacher tenure bill. A small step forward but a significant step. It passed the House, it almost got through the Senate. Died on the Senate floor in the last day. A second bill that passed, that school busing transportation bill which is a form of education reform. That also became law.”
Jones wants to keep that momentum going ahead of the 2013 session.
“I would like to see some kind of interim committee or even joint interim committee where the sides could get together and talk about the future. Maybe a little difficult in an election year but this issue is a priority for all Missouri children and families so I’d like to see it happen.”
Jones can’t appoint committees, but Speaker Steven Tilley can. He says if Jones wants to see any interim committees formed, “I’d be open to any suggestions he might have.”
Jones says the foundation formula for public school funding will be a key issue in 2013, but he also wants to see things like tuition tax credits and teacher tenure addressed.
With many faces in the legislature changing, Jones isn’t sure who he wants to chair such an interim committee but he knows who he would want on it: Representatives Steve Cookson (R-Fairdealing), Mike Lair (R-Chillicothe), Mike Cierpiot (R-Lee’s Summit) and Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood) are some names he mentions.