2018 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 0%
Charter Schools Score: 78%
Missouri earns a “C” in the Center for Education Reform’s most recent charter school law
Missouri’s charter sector is strong, with multiple authorizers and reasonable autonomy. But, geographic limitations on where operators can establish schools have placed artificial limits on growth and harmed the sector. The law only allows charters to operate in St. Louis and Kansas City and, despite continued push from parents, educators and policymakers, a change to the law is not likely. The good news is that, despite obstacles, the charters in both urban centers provide excellent options for many students.
- Law passed in 1998
- Number of charters: 71
- Estimated charter enrollment: 23,000 (up 11 percent from 2015- 16)
- Charters are limited to Kansas City and St. Louis
- Charters can contract with EMOs and CMOs for management purposes
- Missouri scores 9 out of 15 for “authorizing.” A variety of entities can authorize schools, including several universities. However, Missouri’s charter school law only permits charter schools in St. Louis and Kansas City, which drastically limits the number of children who have access to a quality charter school education.
- Missouri scores 8 out of 15 for “growth” because charter schools are limited to St Louis and Kansas City). This geographic requirement amounts to an arbitrary cap on charter schools and prevents the charter sector from meeting demand.
- Missouri earns 13 out of 20 for “operations” Charter schools are exempt from most state and district regulations (unless a district is the authorizer). However, the state heavily regulates schools via Annual Performance Reports. While reporting requirements may seem innocuous, they are often unnecessary, compliance-based, and take charter operators away from the work of teaching and learning.
- Missouri earns 7 out of 15 points for “funding equity.” Missouri’s law states that school districts are required to pay charter schools per-pupil funding in accordance with the state funding formula. The law also requires districts to send applicable federal and state aid to charters. Charter schools that are their own local education agencies receive all funding streams and categories. The State Department of Education retains one and five-tenths percent of a charter’s state and local funding for administrative fees, which it passes on to authorizers. The law does not provide per-pupil facilities funding.
Teacher Quality Score: 75%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers B-
Expanding the Pool of Teachers D-
Identifying Effective Teachers D
Retaining Effective Teachers D+
Exiting Ineffective Teachers D+
Overall State Grade C