Author

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg covers education, health care and the legislature. She previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Kansas City Star and The Columbia Missourian, where her reporting into social media use by the governor prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office. She most recently covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Danieley siblings on their first day back to school

Missouri schools must prioritize in-person class. In first weeks, thousands quarantined

By: and - September 13, 2021

Teddy Danieley was devastated.  Three weeks ago tears streamed down the five-year-old’s face when he learned he couldn’t attend the first-day of school in St. Louis because his dad had tested positive for COVID-19. Instead, he and his two older sisters — 10-year-old Lucy and 9-year-old Ruby — spent what would have been their first day […]

Study: Saint Louis University face mask policy reduced quarantines, COVID cases

By: - September 9, 2021

Tying quarantine requirements to the Saint Louis University face mask requirement successfully reduced the number of students sent to isolation and helped cut COVID-19 infections this spring, according to a study published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Under the university’s rules, students without masks who had close contact with an infected […]

Missouri AG won’t defend state officials in lawsuit, citing undisclosed conflict

By: and - September 9, 2021

When Missouri’s treasurer and secretary of state face off in court this month over a proposed constitutional amendment set to be on the 2022 ballot, both sides will be represented by private attorneys — at a cost to taxpayers of more than $800 an hour.  The reason: Attorney General Eric Schmitt bowed out of the […]

Gov. Parson signs HB 604

Missouri will become the last state to enforce federal mental health parity act

By: - September 7, 2021

Under a new state law that went into effect late last month, Missouri will become the final state to enforce a federal law designed to ensure mental health care is covered by insurance providers the same as treatments for physical ailments. The provisions were included in House Bill 604, an omnibus insurance bill sponsored by […]

An empty pre-school classroom with wooden desks.

Missouri launches Office of Childhood to expand services for children and families

By: - September 3, 2021

Missouri’s new Office of Childhood officially launched Monday with a mission to transform the landscape of early childhood in the state for years to come. The office’s ultimate goal: to expand the services the state offers for children and families and make it easier for them to be accessed in order to support the best […]

Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis

Lawmaker asks Missouri agency to document its oversight of emergency COVID purchasing

By: - September 2, 2021

The ranking Democratic member on the House Budget Committee requested Wednesday that state officials document oversight of emergency purchases during the pandemic — and questioned why emergency, no-bid contracts are still being granted. Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, sent a letter to state Budget Director Dan Haug that built upon lawmakers’ questioning of the Office […]

Missouri awards no-bid contract to boost staffing, antibody treatments, field hospitals

By: - August 31, 2021

A Texas-based company stands to earn upwards of $30 million in Missouri through a no-bid emergency contract to provide healthcare staffing, antibody treatment centers and alternative care sites. The move comes after some states spent millions over the course of the pandemic on private companies to bolster their healthcare infrastructure, but found by the time […]

Protesters at Medicaid expansion rally

Attorneys argue Missouri is violating federal law, courts on Medicaid expansion delays

By: - August 26, 2021

Attorneys who successfully sued to force Missouri to enact voter-approved Medicaid expansion argued in a letter to state officials Thursday that delays in implementation not only violate the court order but also federal law. The plaintiffs’ attorneys, Chuck Hatfield and Lowell Pearson, joined with Joel Ferber, director of advocacy for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, […]

Lawmakers seek accounting of emergency purchasing authority given to Missouri agencies

By: - August 26, 2021

Missouri lawmakers pressed for more details Wednesday on the unprecedented decision by state officials to suspend some procurement rules at the beginning of the pandemic to allow agencies to make large purchases without obtaining prior approval. Rep. Peter Merideth, a St. Louis Democrat and ranking minority member of the House Budget Committee, asked the Office […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Records document millions spent by Missouri agencies under emergency COVID authority

By: - August 24, 2021

It was mid-March 2020 and the pandemic was unfolding in quick succession. Less than a week after the first suspected COVID-19 case in Missouri was identified in St. Louis County, Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency. Days later, the state’s Office of Administration (OA) took an unprecedented step: It granted emergency authorization allowing […]

Missouri students head back to the classroom in the shadow of the Delta surge

By: , and - August 24, 2021

Fourth graders Addison, Reagan and Lauren Harper are no strangers to catastrophes or challenging circumstances.  Five days after they were born in May 2011, a tornado swept through Joplin and leveled their home, destroying a chance at normalcy for their family — along with the entire community — for a long time.  Ten years later, […]

Rep. Doug Richey and Cindy O'Laughlin

Advocates urge lawmakers to focus on inequity in education, not critical race theory

By: - August 23, 2021

Educators, students and advocates urged state lawmakers Monday afternoon to focus on tackling larger issues of inequity across education rather than latch onto the academic concept of critical race theory to further school choice options or ban teaching about diversity and inclusion altogether. During a nearly two-hour hearing, which took place on the first day […]