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Mo. Senate supports charter school expansion bill

(via Flickr/evmaiden)

The Missouri Senatehas endorsed legislationthat could allow charter schools to be formed outside of Kansas City and St. Louis.

In a voice vote Wednesday, the Senate backed a measure that would allow charter schools to be set up in districts that have been declared unaccredited. It would also allow charter schools in some districts that would have been provisionally accredited for three straight years, starting with next school year.

One Senator, though, strongly objected to the bill and tried to kill it.  Maria Chappelle-Nadal(D, University City) spent about four hours blocking it.  She argued that increasing the K-12 funding formula is a better solution than allowing new charter schools to raid districts of both funding and students.

“I believe that this bill is not as well thought out as it could be, and it is a crying shame for us to pass legislation that is half-done," Chappelle-Nadal said.

Supporters say the bill is a necessary first step to address failing school districts in other parts of the state besides St. Louis and Kansas City.  It needs one more vote before moving to the Missouri House.  

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.