Judge Jon Beetem

Missouri judge asked to toss Ashcroft summary of education funding initiative petition

BY: - January 20, 2022

A Cole County judge heard arguments Thursday over whether Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft wrote a misleading ballot summary for an initiative petition seeking to prohibit public tax dollars from going to private schools. The lawsuit was filed by Sherri Talbott, the treasurer of the political action committee Taxpayers for Accountability and a school board […]

Governor proposes record $47.3B Missouri budget as he taps surplus, federal aid

BY: - January 19, 2022

Gov. Mike Parson proposed massive new spending on infrastructure and college buildings, and still found money to set aside for pensions and future revenue shortfalls, in the budget submitted Wednesday to lawmakers. Missouri will enter the new fiscal year with nearly $3 billion in surplus general revenue, an anticipation of record future tax collections and […]

University of Missouri President Choi won’t ask curators to reconsider vote against mask rule

BY: - January 14, 2022

The University of Missouri’s Columbia campus will begin the spring semester as planned Tuesday with no option for online classes, masking or vaccination requirements, UM System President and campus Chancellor Mun Choi wrote to faculty leaders Friday. Choi’s response to concerns raised in a letter from the Executive Committee of the campus Faculty Council was […]

Missouri hits new monthly record for COVID cases as omicron variant spreads

BY: - January 13, 2022

Missouri has reported more cases of COVID-19 in the first 12 days of January than any full month of the pandemic so far. As a result of the massive spike of infections tied to the omicron variant, hospitalizations are also at record levels and schools in many communities are shutting their doors.  And the state […]

Reps. Doug Richey and Nick Schroer

Missouri education committee puts early focus on parental rights, critical race theory

BY: - January 11, 2022

The first education debate of the 2022 legislative session featured hours of discussion on Tuesday of a proposed “parents’ bill of rights” — and whether it would give parents more say in the classroom or instead have a chilling effect on how certain subjects are taught.  In a sign of where legislative priorities may fall, […]

The University of Missouri-Columbia's iconic columns, remains of the school's first building, stand in front of Jesse Hall, which houses administrative offices. (University of Missouri photo)

University of Missouri curators vote down mask rule to open spring semester

BY: - January 11, 2022

Despite hearing from President Mun Choi that a mask rule could be the key to keeping University of Missouri campuses open, the UM Board of Curators on Tuesday morning voted down recommendations for a temporary mask requirement. The nine-member board voted 3-6 against a plan proposed by Choi to require masks in most indoor spaces. […]

Student studying at desk in classroom

Lawmakers eye expansion of Missouri school choice program. But can it get the votes?

BY: - January 10, 2022

Coming off of last year’s success passing a tax credit to fund scholarships to pay for private school tuition, school choice advocates hope lawmakers will expand the program before it’s even gotten off the ground. But even with support from key legislative leaders, the idea faces long odds. Senate Bill 841, sponsored by Sen. Rick […]

Rep. Cody Smith

Deadlines loom on $5.3B spending bill for Missouri Medicaid, federal COVID aid for schools

BY: - January 7, 2022

With Gov. Mike Parson promising state employees a pay raise by Feb. 1 and the state’s Medicaid program likely to run short of money sometime next month, one of the first items on the legislature’s agenda this year is a supplemental $5.3 billion spending bill. The House Budget Committee will meet at 11 a.m. Monday […]

Kansas City reinstates mask mandate for K-12 schools amid COVID surge

BY: - January 6, 2022

Kansas City will reinstate a mask mandate for K-12 schools as COVID-19 cases reach record figures driven by the omicron variant. Council members voted 10-2 on Thursday to require that students and staff in school buildings wear masks starting next week and running until Feb. 3. Its previous mask mandate expired late last year.  Mayor Quinton […]

Missouri legislature set to convene with packed agenda — and continued GOP infighting

BY: - January 4, 2022

Missouri lawmakers will return to the Capitol at noon on Wednesday faced with a lengthy to-do list and still simmering dysfunction. And while most legislative sessions ease slowly into gear, that won’t be the case in 2022. Or rather, it can’t be the case.  Lawmakers face fast-approaching deadlines to pass a supplemental budget and work […]

Sens. Jeanie Riddle and Jill Schupp

‘The Eleven’: Women in Missouri Senate see new book as example of bipartisanship forged

BY: - December 23, 2021

The women of the Missouri Senate are telling their own stories through a forthcoming children’s book that chronicles the journeys of lawmakers past and present. Titled, “You Can, Too!,” the book recounts the stories of the 36 women who have served in the state Senate over the course of the chamber’s history. The book is […]

Biden extends student loan repayment pause three more months

BY: - December 22, 2021

President Joe Biden will continue a pandemic-spurred pause on student loan repayments until May 1, he said Wednesday. Loan repayments were set to restart Jan. 31, following months of the U.S. Education Department not requiring payments during the pandemic. Biden told the department to extend the moratorium initially placed by President Donald Trump’s administration. It […]