The new Missouri House education committee chairman is focused on educational choice, and says the committee’s aim is to ensure that every young person in Missouri has access to a quality education.

State Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, speaks on the Missouri House floor in Jefferson City on February 20, 2019, as House Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann looks on (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, has appointed State Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, to chair the Missouri House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

Basye replaces former committee chairwoman Rebecca Roeber, R-Lee’s Summit, who died in July after suffering serious injuries in a head-on collision in March on Highway 50 in west-central Missouri’s Syracuse. Basye had served as Roeber’s vice-chair.

Chairman Basye tells Missourinet that parents should have as many options as possible for what they believe is best for their children.

“And whether that be the public school or a private school or a religious school or even a home school environment, I think the parents should have that opportunity to choose what might be best for their children,” Basye says.

While he supports educational reform and education choice options, Basye emphasizes that he will not attack public education. He attended St. Charles High School in eastern Missouri.

“I’m a product of public ed, my wife works for the Columbia public school (CPS) system, my grand kids are all public school children,” says Basye.

Missourinet also asked Chairman Basye about charter school legislation. He believes State Rep. Mike O’Donnell, R-Oakville, will file charter school legislation for 2020.

Charter school legislation was Roeber’s top priority. Current Missouri law limits charter schools to St. Louis, Kansas City and any unaccredited school districts.

They are state funded and operate independently of traditional public schools.

Basye’s sprawling district includes Boone, Cooper, Howard and Randolph counties. He’ll be serving his sixth year in the Missouri House.

State Rep. Dottie Bailey, R-Eureka, will serve as the committee vice chair in 2020, and State Rep. Judy Morgan, D-Kansas City, is the committee’s ranking Democrat.

The 2020 session begins on January 8.

Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and newly-appointed Missouri House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee Chairman Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, which was recorded on December 2, 2019 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City:

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