The state Legislature can expect another attempt next year to make Missouri an open enrollment state. State Rep. Brad Pollitt, R-Sedalia, is sponsoring a bill that would allow K-12 public schools to choose whether to let students from neighboring school districts enroll in their district.

“You know, I maintain that my bill is to keep public school students in the public school system being taught by public school teachers that pay into the public school retirement. But still having parents an option if their local public school just doesn’t quite meet the curricular needs or what’s best for their family that they would have an option,” he told Missourinet.

Pollitt said one of the arguments against his bill is that it could force some schools to consolidate.

“I’ve had more communication from parents who want to get out of bigger suburban schools into smaller rural schools by far and away than I have the opposite. I think that parents in Missouri value rural public school education. I think there’ll be a lot of rural public schools that, if they participate, will grow in size. I can’t read the crystal ball and tell you exactly what will happen. We may lose some schools over this bill but most likely it’s schools that were barely holding on, to be honest with you,” says Pollitt.

For the past three years, his bill has narrowly passed in the House but has died in the Senate.

The next session begins January 3 in Jefferson City.

To view House Bill 1757, click here.

Copyright 2023, Missourinet.