This week the Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) urged the House Committee on Education to ensure private and home school students are not left out of any revision to Missouri’s current virtual school laws. In 2007 the MCC successfully amended a bill that became law that requires public school districts to allow resident K-12 students to participate in virtual school courses offered by the district. HB 138, sponsored byState Representative Bryan Spencer (R-Wentzville), retains that requirement but makes other changes of concern.
Except in the case of unaccredited or provisionally accredited school districts, there is no requirement at present that a district make available virtual school courses. HB 138 mandates districts provide at least two courses per student but only requires payment for students enrolled in the public schools. The MCC said this was not just and that all taxpaying school families should be eligible for the virtual school tuition payments. The MCC also opposed requiring that a public school counselor approve what courses a student takes. The MCC said parents were the appropriate deciders of this matter. Stay tuned for more.