Get Involved

MSBA encourages all school board members to take an active role in advocating for public schools across our state. We provide the tools to help you do just that. The Legislative Voice e-newsletter is emailed to members every Friday during the legislative session. Daily updates on legislative activity are available through the Legislative Update blog. Members also can view a weekly video program Friday mornings featuring legislative news and analysis called Capitol Watch.

If you aren’t receiving the Legislative Voice or other MSBA e-communications, email with your request.

Spotlight on Charter Schools

Spotlight on charter schools is a three-part series presented by the MSBA advocacy staff. For more information contact Tec Chapman, MSBA Chief Program Officer, Federal Relations.


What are the origins of charter schools and are they growing?


Are there caps on charter schools?
Nearly half the states have some kind of a cap on charter schools. The caps in state policies limit charter school expansion in the following ways:

- -The number of schools in the state;-New schools within a designated amount of time; -The number of schools overseen by each authorizer; - The number of students in schools; or - Other restrictions by geography (i.e. district), performance level or funding level.


Is student achievement better in charter schools than traditional public schools?

In 2009, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University conducted the first detailed national assessment of charter schools that analyzed 70% of the nation’s students attending charter schools and compared the academic progress of those students with that of demographically matched students in nearby traditional public schools:

- - 17% of charter schools reported academic gains that were significantly better than traditional public schools.- 46% showed no difference from public schools.- 37% were significantly worse than their traditional public school counterparts - Charter schools showed a significantly greater variation in quality as compared with traditional public schools

Missouri 2011 AYP data:

KC charter schools Math proficient and advanced

-   15 of 30 scored below the KCMSD
- 23 of 30 scored below the State average

KC charter schools in Communication Arts proficient and advanced

-   18 of 30 scored below the KCMSD
-    25 of 30 scored below the State average
STL charter schools Math proficient and advanced
-    12 of 19 scored below the SLPS
-    18 of 19 scored below the State average
-    SLPS sponsored charter school (Construction Career Center) has the highest percent proficient & advanced (56.3% even   
higher than state average of 54.3).
STL charter schools in Communication Arts proficient and advanced
-    13 of 19 scored below the SLPS
-    15 of 19 scored below the State average
-    SLPS sponsored charter school (Construction Career Center) has the 2nd highest percent proficient & advanced (58.6%
even higher than state average of 54.6).

How many charter schools close each year?

Nationally: to date 12.5% of the over 5,200 charter schools in the US have been closed for reasons including academic, financial and managerial problems (Allen, 2009).
Missouri: the percentage of charter schools closed in Missouri mirrors the national average.

Keep Learning:

The American School Board Journal continues to investigate the money and the motives behind charter schools in this second article published in February 2012. Click here to read Money Talks.


Part 1 of 3


What is MSBA’s position on charter schools? MSBA’s Legislative Resolution on Charter Schools states, “MSBA believes all charter schools should be authorized solely by local boards of education and subject to the same accountability standards as other Missouri public schools.”

Are charter schools public schools? Yes, charter schools are independent public schools that are free from rules and regulations that apply to traditional public school districts unless specifically identified in charter school law. In exchange for flexibility, charter school sponsors are to hold the schools accountable for results. Charter schools are non-sectarian, and may not charge tuition or fees.

Who can sponsor a charter school? Current Missouri law permits:

  • - a local board of education;
  • - a community college located in the district;
  • - a public four-year college or university with its primary campus in the school district or in a county adjacent in which the district is located, with an approved teacher education programs that meets regional or national standards of accreditation;
  • - a private four-year college or university located in a city not within a county with an enrollment of at least one thousand students, and with an approved teacher preparation program.

Where are charter schools in Missouri? Any student residing in the Kansas City 33 School District or the St. Louis Public School District may choose to attend a charter school in the city in which they reside. There is no cost to parents for sending their children to a charter school.

How many charter schools are in Missouri? As of Fall 2011, there are 51 campuses operating under 36 charters. In 2011-12, 21,529 students attended charter schools in Missouri with 11,526 in St. Louis and 10,003 in Kansas City.

What are the Missouri charter school laws? Missouri charter school laws include RSMo 167.349 and 160.400-420.

Keep Learning

The American School Board Journal investigates the money and the motives behind charter schools in this article published in the February 2012 issue. Click here to read Follow the Trail.