What Missouri learned the hard way about rapid COVID testing in schools

BY: - August 26, 2021

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News. Early in the tumultuous 2020-21 school year, Missouri officials made a big gamble: set aside roughly 1 million rapid COVID tests for the state’s K-12 schools in hopes of quickly identifying sick students or staff members. The Trump administration had spent $760 million to procure 150 […]

Two yellow school buses are show in bright sunshine outside a two-story brick school building in Columbia, Missouri.

Schools to continue mask rules despite legal challenge from Missouri Attorney General

BY: - August 26, 2021

The schools in Gov. Mike Parson’s hometown will continue to require students, teachers and staff to wear masks indoors despite a lawsuit filed by the Missouri attorney general challenging public school mask mandates across the state. The Bolivar R-1 Board of Education in Polk County voted in a special meeting this month to require masks as […]

Missouri attorney general seeks court order blocking school mask mandates

BY: - August 24, 2021

Mandates that require children, staff and faculty to wear masks in school to prevent spread of COVID-19 are next on Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s list of targets for lawsuits challenging local responses to the pandemic. On Tuesday, Schmitt filed a lawsuit against Columbia Public Schools alleging that the central Missouri school district and more than […]

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 […]

Student Wearing Mask in Classroom

As Missouri students head back to class, state launches new COVID testing program

BY: - August 23, 2021

Monday marks the first day of school for thousands of students across Missouri and it’s also when schools can begin enrolling in a new federally-funded testing program aimed at helping facilitate a safe return to the classroom. The Department of Health and Senior Services announced Friday evening that Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc., a Boston, Massachusetts-based biotechnology […]

Biden faces down GOP governors on school mask bans

BY: - August 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — With eight states so far prohibiting schools from levying mask requirements, President Joe Biden is pledging that his administration will use all of its oversight and legal authority to stick up for local officials trying to keep their schools safe. What remains to be seen is how far the federal government can or will […]

Missouri got $185M for school COVID testing. Programs aren’t up and running yet

BY: - August 18, 2021

Students across Missouri will return to their classrooms in less than a week, but it’s unclear if a school testing program backed by millions in federal funds and touted as a resource for a safe return to in-person learning will be up and running by then. Missouri’s state health department is offering public, private and […]

New Missouri law mandates private space and break times for breastfeeding teachers

BY: - August 2, 2021

Eight months after her son was born, Webster Groves High School teacher Jaime Adamski broke down in tears at her doctor’s office.  Her breast milk had declined significantly since she had gone back to work. “I was depressed, angry, frustrated,” she said. “I felt like I was not a good enough mother because I wasn’t […]

Mary Byrne

Kansas City only Missouri school district reporting it teaches ‘critical race theory’

BY: - July 27, 2021

A survey of over 400 Missouri school districts found only Kansas City Public Schools reported that it uses a curriculum that both teaches lessons about critical race theory and includes the 1619 Project. Two other districts reported that they utilize the 1619 Project in their curriculum. The results of the survey, administered by the Department […]

Mary Byrne

Opponents of ‘critical race theory’ urge Missouri lawmakers to take action

BY: - July 19, 2021

A handful of parents pleaded with state lawmakers Monday to take action on critical race theory in schools — an academic concept that the state’s commissioner of education said the vast majority of Missouri’s K-12 schools don’t teach. Over the course of nearly three hours Monday, lawmakers on the Joint Committee on Education heard from […]

Gov. Parson set to sign bills on school choice, police chokeholds, gas tax hike

BY: - July 12, 2021

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will hopscotch the state this week signing bills into law ranging from private school scholarships to a gas tax increase to a ban on certain police chokeholds. The flurry of signings mark the final official acts of the 2021 legislative session.  Perhaps the highest profile bill Parson plans to sign this […]