JEFFERSON CITY • Rep. Rick Stream's mother raised eight kids by herself after his father died when he was 14 years old.
All eight kids worked through high school and college to help make ends meet -- but they were expected to go to school, get an education and work toward a better life.
But not all kids grow up in an environment where education is as valued, the Republican from Kirkwood said.
Stream doesn't know how a district turns that around. However, he wants to make sure students have access to the best education possible.
Today, Stream presented his bill modifying the 1993 transfer law -- which requires unaccredited school districts to pay tuition and provide transportation for students who want to attend an accredited school in the same or adjacent county -- to the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.
This is his second presentation to the committee following the Senate's passage of their version of a bill addressing the law.
Stream's bill would determine the accreditation status of individual buildings in provisionally accredited and unaccredited districts. It also would set a tuition cap at 70 percent of the receiving school's normal tuition rate.
"Additional costs to districts (for extra students) is not anywhere close to the districts full tuition rate," Stream said.
His measure also would allow receiving districts to establish class size and student-teacher ratios. It also provides a private school transfer option for students. Private, nonsectarian schools can choose whether or not to accept transfer students.
Assistance teams also would go into provisionally accredited districts to evaluate everything from curriculum to finances.
Unaccredited districts could extend their school day or year. Students transferring out of an unaccredited district must reside there for one year.
Rep. Mike Cierpiot, R-Lee's Summit, also presented his bill -- also for a second time -- addressing the transfer law today.
Under Cierpiot's measure, students also could transfer to a private, nonsectarian school but those transfers would be paid for through a tax credit scholarship.
To transfer out of an unaccredited school, a student must live in an underperforming school in an unaccredited district for one semester.
In Cierpiot's bill, the State Board of Education would be required to intervene in a provisionally accredited district with "individually improvement measures" based on the district's and community's needs.
(Senate Bill 493, House Bill 1868, House Bill 1822)