Legislative Alerts and Missouri Law for Homeschooling PDF Print E-mail

Updated on 3-28-2017


April 21st Legislative Update (Click Here To See Full Report)

The Missouri General Assembly has now entered its final three (3) weeks of the First Regular Session of the Ninety-ninth Missouri General Assembly. The legislature will adjourn pursuant to the constitution at 6:00 pm, May 12, 2017.

 

In an unprecedented move, House and Senate leadership have given notice to legislators that they intend to be in session, Monday through Friday, for the remainder of the session.  Accordingly, this will be my final legislative report. From this time forward, I will notify you of relevant legislative actions taken as they occur. (I will also provide a legislative summary upon conclusion of the session).

 

The Senate convened this week after the Easter holiday on Tuesday, May 18, 2017, and took up House Committee Bill 3 relating to the "circuit breaker" ("funds for vulnerable senior citizens").  The Senate was hoping to pass the legislation to offset part of the budget shortfall confronting the state this year.  The Senate took up the legislation for debate on Tuesday evening, 7:00 pm, and laid the legislation on the Informal Calendar (taking no further action) on Wednesday morning at 5:30 am.  

 

The Missouri Constitution requires that the FY2018 budget be delivered to Governor Greitens by 6:00 pm, May 5, 2017.  However, the Missouri Senate has not yet passed their version of the budget out of the Senate Committee on Appropriations (in the form of a Senate Committee Substitute). And, with only two (2) weeks remaining before the budget deadline (the bills are not out of committee, the Senate, or conference) there is widespread speculation that there will be a "special session" called for the purpose of appropriations after the General Assembly adjourns on May 12th. 

 

The Senate adjourned yesterday evening amid accusations (between the Senators) of corruption, self-dealing, and ethical violations.

 

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives passed to the Senate House Committee Bills 4 relating to Workforce Development  and HCB 5 relating to Computer Programming Eduction. The House also passed HB 118 (Rep. ), which “Changes the laws regarding elementary and secondary education,” was reported do pass from the House Committee on Fiscal Review and passed by the House by a vote of 138 yes to 6 no. It was reported to the Senate and first read.and House Bill 694 relating to motor fuel taxes. 

 

Next week, the House Special Committee on Government Oversight is scheduled to hear SB 478 (Sen. Silvey), which “Requires school districts to report breaches of data containing personal information of students to parents, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the State Auditor." 



April 14th, Legislative Update (Click Here To See Full Report)

With only four (4) weeks remaining in the First Regular Session of the Ninety-ninth Missouri General Assembly, both chambers are finalizing actions on their chambers bills.  Recall, last week the Missouri House of Representatives forwarded their proposed budget to the Missouri Senate, and the Senate Committee on Appropriations spent considerable time this week on "marking up" or amending the bills.  The committee has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, April 19, 2017, to address remaining "open" items and will advance the bills to the floor of the Senate at that time.

 

Yesterday, April 13, 2017, the Missouri Senate passed to the House of Representatives, SCR 4 (Sen. Kehoe) by a vote of 26-7, relating to the call of an Article V convention of states to propose certain amendments to the United States Constitution. On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, the Senate passed SCR 9 (Sen. Holsman) by a vote of 19-12 for the purpose of regulating elections and SCR 14 (Sen. Hoskins) by a vote of 19-13, calling for an Article V Convention of the states for the purpose of imposing term limitations. Last year, the Senate stopped the Resolutions from passing. Now, the House will be in a position to determine whether Missouri will enter the call for these purposes.

 

The Missouri Senate also passed back to the House of Representatives HB 90 (Rep. Rehder) relating to the Narcotics Control Act.  Such legislation established a PDMP or "Prescription Drug Monitoring Program" for the state.  The House of Representatives will likely reject the Senate version of the bill and ask for conference. However, if the House concurs, the state will join the rest of the nation in tracking prescription drug prescription and dispensing.

 

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed HB 130 (Rep. Mathews) relating to transportation network companies. The legislation sets up a framework for regulation and insurance of companies like Uber to operate in Missouri. The House also sent to the Senate HB 656 (Rep. Rhoads) that allows for the introduction of small cell sites in the state.  Such legislation lays a foundation for 5G technology to be brought to and expanded throughout Missouri.

 

Please note the debate and amendment of HB 118 (Rep. Wood) relating to elementary and secondary education. Although the legislation was just perfected in the House, it contains the provision relating to the mandatory 1044 hours (obviously, ours is only 1000 hours).



April 7th, Legislative Update (Click Here To See Full Report)


The First Regular Session of the Ninety-ninth Missouri General Assembly has five (5) weeks remaining before adjournment.   The Missouri House of Representatives tended to its constitutional responsibilities this week and passed its version of the FY2018 budget ($27.5B) to the Missouri Senate for its consideration.  The Missouri Senate will take up the budget next week, substitute each bill with its own recommendations, and pass the budget back to the House of Representatives for conference.

 

In other floor debate this week, the House of Representatives passed (102-54) the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, entitled the "Narcotics Control Act" (HB90, Rep. Rehder) to the Missouri Senate on Monday, April 3, 2017.  Throughout the debate, the proponents argued that the amount of prescription drugs currently prescribed to patients far exceeds the quantity necessary for healthful recovery. Absent this program, they argue that some patients will continue to abuse prescriptions by “doctor shopping,” which occurs when a patient tries to fill a single prescription multiple times from different pharmacies. Under the language of the bill, all drug prescription activity would be monitored electronically in a patient database. However, critics of the bill argued that the database would infringe on patient privacy rights. The most vocal Senator against the bill was Senator Schaaf, who recently conceded his position due to pressure from doctors, leadership, and the Governor. Sen. Rob Shaaf, primary opponent of the legislation over the past several years, announced that he would no longer obstruct the passage of the legislation.  However, I spoke with Rep. Rehder on Thursday, April 6, 2017 and she is only cautiously optimistic that it will be Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed.

 

The House of Representatives also passed  (131-20) HB 1009 (Rep. Lauer) relating to the creation of a 911 state coordinator (overseeing funding).

 

Meanwhile, the Missouri Senate debated legislation relating to abortion-alternatives (SB 41) and fetal research (SB 67) and higher education and education scholarships.  The Senate also debated legislation relating to a statute of repose for defective products.  Such legislation was not perfected, and thus no further action was taken.

 

Committee activity this week included:

 

  • Rep. Rone cancelled his hearing on HB 1084 relating to Home School Students and their ability to participate in extra curricular activities.

 

 

Next week, committees will hear:

 

  • HB 280 (Rep. Houghton), which “Prohibits local school districts from setting an opening date for the school term that is more than ten calendar days prior to the first Monday in September,” will be heard in the House Committee on elementary and Secondary Education. 
  • HB 469 (Rep. Gannon), which “Modifies the law relating to high school equivalence degree testing" will be heard in the Senate Committee on Education.
  • SB 491 (Sen. Silvey), which “Allows high school student to fulfill one unit of academic credit with a computer science course for any required science unit" will also be heard in the Senate Committee on Education.



March 30th, Legislative Update (Click Here To See Full Report)

Please note the bills that were heard in committee this week:

 

  • HB 201 (Rep. Pogue), which “Prohibits school districts from collecting biometric information on students without the express written consent of parents or legal guardians.” Referred to House Committee on House-Elementary and Secondary Education
  • HB 280 (Rep. Houghton), which “Prohibits local school districts from setting an opening date for the school term that is more than ten calendar days prior to the first Monday in September.” Referred to House Committee on House-Elementary and Secondary Education
  • HB 469 (Rep. Gannon), which “Modifies the law relating to high school equivalency degree testing.” Third read and passed by the House (Vote: Y:140/N: 6).
  • HB 509 (Rep. Ellington), which “Allows school districts to create magnet schools and changes provisions regarding the powers of superintendents.” Hearing was conducted, and no action was taken.
  • HB 953 (Rep. Lauer), which “Requires high schools and public institutions of higher education to provide information related to careers and salaries to students.” Referred to House Committee on House-Rules-Administrative Oversight.

 

And, next week, the following five (5) bills will be heard in committee:

 

  • HB 584 (Rep. Cooks), which “Requires any statewide athletic organization with a public school district as a member to report to the joint committee on education during the legislative interim,” will be heard in the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education on Monday, 3 April.
  • HB 672 (Rep. Kelly), which “Prohibits public institutions of higher learning from discriminating against a religious student organization or denying a religious student association any benefit available to any other student association,” will go to executive session in the House Committee on Rules and Legislative Oversight on Monday, 3 April. 
  • HB 1084 (Rep. Done), which “Requires public schools to provide home school students the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities,” will be heard in the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education on Monday, 3 April.
  • HB 94 (Rep. Lauer), which “Allows students to take the ACT WorkKeys assessments instead of the ACT Plus Writing assessment,” will go to executive session in the Senate Committee on Education.
  • HB 430 (Rep. Rhoads), which “Modifies provisions relating to juvenile courts,” will be heard in the House Committee on the Judiciary for Executive Session on Tuesday, 4 April.

 

The Missouri General Assembly reconvened on Monday, March 27, 2017 after its annual spring break.  The focus of the Missouri House of Representatives was: 1) the repeal of the prevailing wage law (HB 104, Rep. Love), 2) the protection of alternative-to-abortion agencies (HCS HB 174, Rep. Hubrecht) and 3) Missouri's compliance with the Real ID Act of 2005 (making government ID uniform, HB 151, Rep. Corlew) and 4) creating the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP, HB 90, Rep. Rehder).  

 

The Missouri Senate focused on: 1) time-limited offers to settle tort claims (SB 213, Sen. Rowden), 2) the Foster Care Bill of Rights (SS SCS SB 160, Sen. Sater), and 3) establishing the Supporting and Strengthening Families Act relating to guardianships (SB 195, Sen. Koenig).

 

The Missouri House of Representatives will pass the $27.5B FY2018 budget next week.  I have attached a summary of the House Budget Committee Amendments so that you may see the issues that will likely be debated.

 

Rep. Kurt Bahr has asked that his legislation relating to home education (brought to him by the HSLDA) be heard in committee.  I have informed him that I will not testify in opposition, but will testify "for information purposes" and inform the committee members of our concern about opening our compulsory attendance chapter.





March Legislative Update (Click Here To See Full Report)

This week, the House heard the following six (6) bills in committee:

-    HB 97 (Rep. Swan), which establishes a visiting scholars certificate of license to teach, was reported do pass from the committee on Rules and Administrative Oversight.

-    HB 324 (Rep. Neely), which “Specifies that no school board shall suspend a pupil for an act or acts of truancy” was reported do pass from the committee on Rules and Administrative Oversight.

-    HB 411 (Rep. Lichtenegger), which “Changes the laws by adding virtual institutions to the "Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program,” was reported do pass from the committee on Rules and Administrative Oversight.

-    HB 677 (Rep. Rowland), which “Allows a school district to use a calendar based on hours of attendance rather than hours and days of attendance, if the minimum number of hours is at least 1,044 hours of actual pupil attendance” was reported do pass from the committee on Rules and Administrative Oversight.

 

Please also note that Rep. Kurt Bahr advanced HB 354 relating to the parental liberty to direct the upbringing, education, and care of his or her children through the House Committee on Judiciary.

 

Next week, the following bills will be heard/voted in committee:

 

-    HB 118 (Rep. Wood), which “Changes the laws regarding elementary and secondary education” was heard by the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education. The committee will go to executive session.

-    SB 485 (Sen. Hoskins), which “Excludes funds designated by taxpayers in an urban district as early childhood education funds from the local tax revenue calculation used to provide funding to charter schools that declared themselves as a local education agency.” Senate Committee on Education.

 





February Legislative Update ( Click Here To See Full Report )

The Missouri General Assembly continued to debate and amend, or "perfect," legislative priorities this week. The Senate focused on changing Missouri's at-will employee status to permit mandatory arbitration agreements (prohibiting employees from access to the courts in employment related disputes), and passed, or "third read" bills including SB 182 (Sen. Onder) relating to public contracts or "PLAs" (23-9), and SB 237 (Sen. Rowden) relating to health care employee liability.  The House of Representatives addressed issues such as HB 66 (Rep. Ruth) that expands newborn screening requirements and HB 230 (Rep. Dogan) that de-regulates the profession of hair-braiding. The House also expanded protections for police officers.  Such issues have now been sent to the Senate for further consideration.
 
In committee, the Senate Committee on Education advanced SB 188 (Sen. Munzlinger) that expands opportunities for students that participate in "virtual" education programs. Such legislation has been set on the Senate calendar for debate.



January Legislative Update. ( Click Here To See Full Report )

The Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, Honorable Patricia Breckenridge, spoke to members of the General Assembly this week and outlined the state of the judiciary.  Her remarks included the following issues: 1) municipal court consolidation,, 2) juvenile courts and the "best interest" of the child standard, 3) the creation of a pre-trial incarceration task force, 4) support for treatment courts, and 5) the expansion of technology in the court system. In response to Governor Greiten's State of the State "broken judiciary" comments last week, Judge Breckenridge also identified the statistical insignificance of tort actions filed in Missouri in 2016 (1.8 million cases filed, 17% are civil actions, and less than 5% of those actions are in tort). Judge Breckenridge stated that the legislation pending before General Assembly relating to tort reform should not be viewed as a failure of our courts.
 
Please note that the Senate Committee on Education will hear SB 173 relating to home school students participation in extracurricular activities on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at 12:00 pm.  Please let me know whether you would like me to testify.

 




the homeschool laws of Missouri

167.031


1. Every parent, guardian or other person in this state having charge, control or custody of a child not enrolled in a public, private, parochial, [or] parish school or full-time equivalent attendance in a combination of such schools and between the ages of seven and sixteen years is responsible for enrolling the child in a program of academic instruction which complies with subsection 2 of this section. Any parent, guardian or other person who enrolls a child between the ages of five and seven years in a public school program of academic instruction shall cause such child to attend the academic program on a regular basis, according to this section. Nonattendance by such child shall cause such parent, guardian or other responsible person to be in violation of the provisions of section 167.061, except as provided by this section. A parent, guardian or other person in this state having charge, control or custody of a child between the ages of seven and sixteen years of age shall cause the child to attend regularly some public, private, parochial, [or] home school or a combination of such schools not less than the entire school term of the school which the child attends except that (1.) A child who, to the satisfaction of the superintendent of public schools of the district in which he resides, or if there is no superintendent then the chief school officer, is determined to be mentally or physically incapacitated may be excused from attendance at school for the full time required, or any part thereof; (2.) A child between fourteen and sixteen years of age may be excused from attendance at school for the full time required, or any part thereof, by the superintendent of public schools of the district, or if there is none then by a court of competent jurisdiction, when legal employment has been obtained by the child and found to be desirable, and after the parents or guardian of the child have been advised of the pending action; or (3.) A child between five and seven years of age shall be excused from attendance at school if a parent, guardian or other person having charge, control or custody of the child makes a written request that the child be dropped from the school’s rolls.

2. (1) As used in sections 167.031 to 167.071, a "home school" is a school, whether incorporated or unincorporated, that; (a) has as its primary purpose the provision of private or religious-based instruction; (b) enrolls pupils between the ages of seven and sixteen years, of which no more than four are unrelated by affinity or consanguinity to the third degree; and (c) does not charge or receive consideration in the form of tuition, fees, or other remuneration in a genuine and fair exchange for provision of instruction. (2) As evidence that a child is receiving regular instruction, the parent shall (a) maintain the following records: (1) a plan book, diary, or other written record indicating subjects taught and activities engaged in; and (2) a portfolio of samples of the child's academic work; and (3) a record of evaluations of the child's academic progress; or (4) other written, credible evidence equivalent to subdivisions (1), (2), and (3); and (b) offer at least one thousand hours of instruction, at least six hundred hours of which will be in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science or academic courses that are related to the aforementioned subject areas and consonant with the pupil’s age and ability. At least four hundred of the six hundred hours shall occur at the regular home school location.

3. Nothing in this section shall require a private, parochial, parish or home school to include in its curriculum any concept, topic, or practice in conflict with the school’s religious doctrines or to exclude from its curriculum any concept, topic, or practice consistent with the school’s religious doctrines. Any other provision of the law to the contrary notwithstanding, all departments or agencies of the state of Missouri shall be prohibited from dictating through rule, regulation or other device any statewide curriculum for private, parochial, parish or home schools.

4. A school year begins on the first day of July and ends on the thirtieth day of June following.

5. The production by a parent of a daily log showing that a home school has a course of instruction which satisfies the requirements of this section shall be a defense to any prosecution under this section and to any change of action brought pursuant to chapter 210, RSMo. 167.042: For the purpose of minimizing unnecessary investigations due to reports of truancy, each parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child who causes his child to attend regularly a home school may provide to the recorder of deeds of the county where the child legally resides, a signed, written declaration of enrollment stating their intent for the child to attend a home school within thirty days after the establishment of the home school and by September first annually thereafter. The name and age of each child attending the home school, the address and telephone number of the home school, the name of each person teaching in the home school, and the name , address and signature of each person making the declaration of enrollment shall be included in said notice. A declaration of enrollment to provide a home school shall not be cause to investigate violations of section 167.031. The recorder of deeds may charge a service cost of not more than one dollar for each notice filed.


167.061 


Any parent, guardian or other person having charge, control or custody of a child, who violates the provisions of section 167.031 is guilty of a class C misdemeanor. Upon conviction and pending any judicial appeal, the defendant shall be required to enroll the child in a public, private, parochial, parish or home school within three public school days, after which each successive school day shall constitute a separate violation of section 167.031. The fine or imprisonment, or both, may be suspended and finally remitted by the court, with or without the payment of costs, at the discretion of the court, if the child is immediately placed and kept in regular attendance at a public, private, parochial, parish or home school and if the fact of regular attendance in proved subsequently to the satisfaction of the court. A certificate stating that the child is regularly attending a public, private, parochial or parish school and properly attested by the superintendent, principal or person in charge of the school is prima facie evidence of regular attendance by the child.

 

167.071


1. In school districts having six or more directors the school board may appoint and remove at pleasure one or more school attendance officers and shall pay them from the public school funds.

2. Each attendance officer has the powers of a deputy sheriff in the performance of his duties. He shall investigate the claims of children for exemptions under section 167.031, and report his findings to the person authorized by that section to grant the exemption sought. He shall refer all cases involving an alleged violation of section 167.031 involving a public school to the superintendent of the public school of the district where the child legally resides and all cases involving an alleged violation of section 167.031 involving a private, parochial, parish or home school to the prosecuting attorney of the county wherein the child legally resides. When reasonable doubt exists as to the age of any such child he may require a properly attested birth certificate or an affidavit stating the child’s age, date of birth, physical characteristics and bearing the signature of the child. He may visit and enter any mine, office, factory, workshop, business house, place of amusement, or other place in which children are employed or engaged in any kind of service, or any place or building in which children loiter or idle during school hours; may require a properly attested certificate of the attendance of any child at school; may arrest, without warrant, any truant, or nonattendance of other juvenile disorderly persons, and place them in some school or take them to their homes, or take them to any place of detention provided for neglected children in the county or school district. He shall serve in the cases which he prosecutes without additional fee or compensation. Each attendance officer appointed by a school board shall carry into effect the regulations lawfully prescribed by the board by which he was appointed.

3. In any urban school, any metropolitan school district and in school districts having six or more directors and which are located in a first class county having a charter form of government, and duly commissioned city or county police officer shall be ex officio school attendance officers. Any police officer exercising duties of ex officio school attendance officer need not refer any child apprehended pursuant to the provisions of this section to juvenile court or a juvenile officer, but nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the police officer’s regular powers and duties as a peace officer. 

210.167


If an investigation conducted by the division of family services pursuant to section 210.145 reveals that the only basis for action involves a question of an alleged violation of 167.031, then the local office of the division shall send the report to the school district in which the child resides. The school district shall immediately refer all private, parochial, parish or home school matters to the prosecuting attorney of the county wherein the child legally resides. The school district may refer public school violations of 167.031 to the prosecuting attorney. 

This law was enacted during the 1986 legislative session. The most recent revisions (included) were made 8/28/93