Missouri is going to be rid of Common Core educational standards. Our concerns were that the standards were developed without enough local input. I have never argued that we don’t need some standard to shoot for in our schools, but local input from citizens and school boards should dictate how we attain those standards. Common core only was supposed to cover math and English but there were some really bizarre teaching methods required in the program. Now Missouri schools will design their own curricula to help students meet the standards. Groups of teachers, parents, and students had important input in designing the new standards. Missouri Standards will cover not only math and English but also social studies and science. Elementary students will also be taught cursive writing. The next step is for the state to design test around the new standards. The testing will not take place until the 2017 – 2018 school year. HB1611 also deals with education and will, among other things, change the requirements on total days of school per year to total hours. This change would allow school districts to adjust their start and stop dates to suit their needs.
HB2011, one of the budget bills, was sent to the Governor on Thursday. In it are provisions to defund Planned Parenthood of all state monies. The $27 billion dollar budget was completed and passed by both bodies last week and sent to the Governor. We expect him to veto parts of it but we will have an opportunity before we recess in May to override certain of his veto attempts. The House and Senate Budget Committees have been working since last summer to complete the budget in a timely manner.
HCR57 allows Missouri to join with other states and call for a Constitutional Convention. While a long way from becoming a reality, many of us believe that our Government is stripping the states of powers that are supposed to be reserved for them. Out of control spending, regulatory commissions with no Congressional oversight, and abuse of power by the President are just a few of the topics up for discussion. HB2213, the bill that would allow marijuana to be legalized for medical use was defeated soundly. The detractors pointed out that it is still considered illegal by the Federal Government and that more research is needed before we make it available.
There are still dozens of bills to be considered in the coming 3 weeks including nearly all of the Senate bills. We have a lot of long days ahead of us and I expect we will be working some late nights before we finish on the 13th Of May. I’ll bring you up to date again next week, until then I am and remain in your service.