Records hint that former Missouri GOP chair is lead candidate for curator appointment

BY: - March 15, 2021

An attorney with close ties to the University of Missouri-Kansas City appears to have the most backers for a seat on the UM System Board of Curators. But a former chairman of the Missouri Republican Party is the one records indicate is closest to being appointed by Gov. Mike Parson. According to emails, letters and […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Transgender youth speak against Missouri proposal to restrict sports teams by gender

BY: - March 3, 2021

Brandon Boulware remembers the moment he realized he wasn’t allowing his transgender daughter to be who she is. Boulware said he wouldn’t let her play with toys or wear clothes intended for girls, and would make her get short haircuts. He wanted to keep her from getting teased, but also avoid the inevitable questions he […]

Biden urges states to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers

BY: - March 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is urging states to prioritize teachers for COVID-19 vaccines, setting a goal of ensuring that every pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educator, school staff member and childcare worker is able to receive at least one shot this month. At least 34 states and the District of Columbia have some or all […]

U.S. Senate confirms Cardona as education secretary

BY: - March 2, 2021

The Senate on Monday confirmed Miguel Cardona to lead the U.S. Department of Education in a 64-33 vote. Cardona, a longtime educator from Connecticut, will be tasked with helping schools reopen during the pandemic and leading the $68 billion agency.  “There is no one better suited for this job in this moment than Miguel Cardona,” […]

Missouri schools to receive $123 million as Parson releases budget withholdings

BY: - March 1, 2021

Missouri public schools will receive $123 million withheld from the state education budget, as Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday he ended all restrictions on general revenue spending in the current budget. The release comes earlier than anticipated. When state Budget Director Dan Haug laid out Parson’s spending proposal for the coming year in January, he […]

House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, speaks during floor debate of HB 349.

‘Compromise to be had’: School choice bills face both success and gridlock in Missouri

BY: - March 1, 2021

It was a mixed week for education reform in the Missouri legislature, with historic success in one chamber and gridlock in the other. An education savings accounts program managed to clear a major hurdle, barely passing out of the House after heated debate and a rare speech from the House speaker. But on the other […]

After a pandemic enrollment drop, Missouri educators are trying to find ‘missing’ students

BY: - February 18, 2021

When the Grandview School District announced it would start the 2020-2021 school year with only virtual classes, school officials weren’t sure how it would impact fall enrollment. But they soon found out. From October 2019 to October 2020, Grandview’s K-12 enrollment dropped by about 450 students — or 11 percent, according to data The Beacon […]

Student Wearing Mask in Classroom

School choice bills have been pushed in Missouri for years. Will the pandemic pave the way?

BY: - February 17, 2021

Missouri’s legislative leaders have spent the last decade vowing to pass significant school-choice legislation. Yet despite massive GOP majorities in both the House and the Senate, they often fall short. Since the expansion of charter schools into unaccredited districts in 2012, attempts to push through education reform have crashed into a wall of resistance year […]

CDC issues detailed strategy for safely reopening K-12 schools

BY: - February 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released updated guidance to provide educators a science-based plan for reopening K-12 schools. The agency said it cannot force schools to reopen but can only stress that steps such as wearing masks and physical distancing of at least 6 feet are key to mitigating […]

How the pandemic is complicating mental health services for Kansas City kids

BY: - February 9, 2021

Without daily, in person interaction with teachers and peers, flagging mental health issues in students is increasingly difficult. In the move to virtual classes, schools say they can no longer depend on teachers to notice warning signs and refer students to mental health services. Now districts are turning to new ways of screening children for […]

classic columns from side in summer framed by green; jesse dome view from cornell

Competition increasing for KC-area seat on University of Missouri curators

BY: - February 5, 2021

The field of candidates vying for a seat on the University of Missouri Board of Curators currently held by a former Kansas City-area lawmaker is growing. Lisa Weixelman, an attorney with Polsinelli law firm, is the latest addition to the list of people angling for Gov. Mike Parson’s appointment to the nine-member board. In an […]

Education secretary nominee says teachers should be prioritized for vaccines

BY: - February 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — The president’s pick to lead the U.S. Education Department said Wednesday that he wants teachers at the front of the line for vaccinations as local leaders debate reopening schools amid the pandemic. Miguel Cardona, a veteran educator from Connecticut, in his Senate confirmation hearing also faced questions from several Republicans about transgender students’ […]