Missouri State Board of Education Meeting Report (April 13-14, 2023)

Agenda, Minutes, and Recordings from April 13-14, 2023 of the Missouri State Board of Education Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Monthly State Board Report is also available in Podcast form at MNEA Connects. Listen in here!


Consideration of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Adopt 5 CSR 20-200.275, Mental Health Awareness Training

This proposed rule, 5 CSR 20-200.275, is derived from statute 170.307 RsMo, which came from SB 681 during the 2022 legislative session. This statute requires that, starting in the 2022-2023 school year, students in public and charter schools are to “receive mental health awareness training any time during a pupil’s four years of high school.” The statute charges DESE with creating “rules to develop a model curriculum to be used by school districts to provide the instruction required by this section” (170.307 RsMo). 

The following is DESE’s focus when creating a Mental Health Advisory Committee to build this curriculum: 

  • Focus curriculum on Mental Health awareness that fits into an already-existing, one-semester course
  • Focuses on current Health and Physical Education standards and curriculum 
  • Include practicing educators in the areas of Health, PE, school Counselors, school-based Mental Health Professionals, and school Leadership for input 
  • Move at an expedited timeline due to time (the statute cited this rule and curriculum being implemented in the 2022-2023 school year)

There will be a Process and Development Advisory Committee that will create the curriculum and a Framework Validation Team to evaluate the work of the committee. Recommendations will be delivered through existing standards and resources and in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Mental Health. As of now, the department is approaching the building of this curriculum to include defined objectives and expectations all framed around four mental health domains: Defining mental health, identifying strategies for achieving and maintaining sound mental wellness, decreasing the stigma of mental health concerns, and recognizing how to connect to services when needed. Supplemental materials for this curriculum will include thirteen mental health learning objectives and 54 course-level expectations. 

The status of this work includes completing the final review, developing guidance overview and best-practice delivery recommendations, releasing an administrative memo, posting the documents to DESE’s website, updating the graduation handbook to include this requirement, and developing a model curriculum. 

There was robust discussion and concern amongst some of the board surrounding the approval of this proposed rule. The concern lies with the lack of intentional planning surrounding this topic of Mental Health awareness in conjunction with the Social-Emotional Learning standards work that is also happening in the department. The standards and curriculum that all of these work groups are producing fall along the same mental health continuum, but it appears that the work is fragmented and siloed rather than functioning together. Further, there is concern that Mental Health Professional representation on the advisory committees is not comprehensive and, therefore, the resulting curriculum may not be completely sound in terms of Mental Health principles. The association agrees with the concerns that were brought to the state board. 

The state board did approve the authorization of publication in the Missouri Register of a notice of proposed rulemaking to adopt this proposed rule. The timeline for the rule promulgation, which will allow the department to move forward with developing the curriculum, guidance, and recommendations, includes a comment period once the Missouri Secretary of State posts the rule. DESE and the State Board hope to have the rule approved and finalized by October 2023.  


Governmental Affairs Report

As of the State Board meeting, the Missouri Legislature had only 4 weeks left in the session. DESE reported that they are feeling good about the Blue Ribbon Commission Phase I recommendations moving toward passing, especially in provisions on the Omnibus bill, HB 497

They also received a report on SB 4 that has been perfected along with an update on SB 411 regarding 4-day and 5-day school weeks. The Board was curious about the Assessment and Accreditation bills that were discussed last month but those appeared to have stalled in the legislature at this time. 


Blue Ribbon Commission 

Blue Ribbon Commission focused on Teacher Recruitment and Retention is in Phase II looking specifically at Culture and Climate in schools. The first meeting was held virtually, and the next meeting will be in-person at the Governor’s Office Building in Jefferson City. These meetings are open to the public for viewing. They are listed on BRC Webpage and below. Please pay special attention to these new dates as they have changed from MNEA’s Board report from last month. MNEA will be present at each of these meetings. 


Commission Meeting Dates

Post-meeting reports/summaries will be available approximately two weeks after each session. Virtual meetings will be live-streamed at https://dese.mo.gov/BRC-livestream. Doors will remain open at in-person meetings for observers.

  • COMPLETED: Tuesday, April 4, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. —  Agenda | Recorded Livestream | Key Takeaways
  • Friday, May 19, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. — Governor's Office Building, Room 450 
  • Thursday, June 15, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. — Virtual Meeting
  • Friday, July 14, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. — Governor's Office Building, Room 450

The Commission will then deliver their Phase 2 report to the State Board of Education at its meeting on August 15, 2023. 


Commission Phase 2 Members are listed here with their bios. 

Additional News

The next meeting of the Missouri State Board of Education will be held on May 16 at DESE in Jefferson City, Missouri.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Samantha Hayes at 800-392-0236 or Samantha.Hayes@mnea.org. Details of state board agenda items can be found here