Top Takeaways: MNEA State Board Report (June 2024)

Beginning of a New Era 

Dr. Thomas Prater of Springfield and Dr. Tawni Farrarini of St. Charles took their oath of office at the State Board of Education June 2024 meeting. They are interim positions appointed by the governor until the Senate can confirm their seats on the board—this puts an unusual political aspect to these roles until they are confirmed by the Senate. 

Dr. Karla Eslinger assumed her official position as Commissioner of Education at the end of the June board meeting. 

Missouri Teacher Leaders of Tomorrow Awards

In partnership with Milken Educators Awards, Missouri has recognized 13 exceptional student teachers for their “poised to make a difference as effective first-year teachers.”  The honorees are honored at the State Board meeting and also are given active support during their first year of teaching. 

Missouri NEA congratulates these extraordinary student teachers on a prestigious award and wishes them well in their first year of teaching and beyond! 

Learning Standards Development

The development of three different content areas had movement in regard to standards. The State Board heard a report on the Computer Science task force (170.018 RSMo), which includes 13 recommendations; the Family Health Standards (160.527 RSMo) have been approved for the department to roll out for districts; and the K-12 Comprehensive School Counseling Program standards have been approved for public comment through June 26. 

“Missouri NEA believes that...clear performance standards need to be developed for both core and non-core areas. The effectiveness of these programs depends on continuous development, implementation, and evaluation. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) should provide technical assistance, funding, model programs, and periodic reviews to assist districts in developing their local curricula. Local districts should provide time and resources for professional development to implement these standards. The Association also believes that these programs should be monitored by local affiliates with particular attention to their impact on students, school professionals, school programs and finances” (B-38). 

Charter School State Board Authority and Sponsorship Approvals for Charter Sponsors MCPSC and SEMO

MO Charter hierarchyThe State Board heard an overview of their authority over Charter Schools in Missouri, including the roles and responsibilities involved at each level of oversight. The board seems to lack consensus regarding what standard they should focus on in their evaluation of charter sponsors. Further, the State Board evaluated and approved the sponsorship Missouri Charter Public School Commission (MCPSC) and Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO). 

Missouri NEA believes that “charter schools serve students and the public interest when they are authorized and held accountable by the locally elected school board. Charter schools should be authorized or expanded only after a district has assessed the impact of the proposed charter school on local public school resources, programs, and services” (A-6).

More Support for Beginning Teachers

The Board approved the publication of 5 CSR20-400.385, Beginning Teacher Assistance Program, which outlines more comprehensive guidelines for supporting beginning teachers who are looking to upgrade their certification. Missouri NEA believes in the full and comprehensive support for beginning teachers and supports this change in rule. 

More flexibility for 9-12 Mathematics Certification 

The Board approved 5 CSR 20-400.540, Certification Requirements for Secondary Education (Grades 9-12), which “revised rule language [to create] greater flexibility for educator preparation programs to change curriculum to better align with the test framework and with the Missouri Learning Standards.” 

“Missouri NEA believes that teachers and aspiring educators must be directly involved in evaluating and improving the standards for teacher preparation and certification/licensing” (D-3); because this work originated with Missouri Mathematics Association for the Advancement of Teacher Training and the Missouri Advisory Council of Certification for Educators (MACCE), led by practicing educators, Missouri NEA supports this change to make Mathematic 9-12 certification more concise and more aligned to Missouri Learning Standards.


MNEA believes that every student and educator deserves the best experience possible in schools. That is why we are the only educational organization that is consistently present at every meeting of DESE, the state board of education, and the Missouri Legislature. We are your eyes and ears where decisions are being made about your schools when you cannot be.

The next meeting of the Missouri State Board of Education will be held on Thursday, August 15, at DESE in Jefferson City, Missouri. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Samantha Hayes at 800-392-0236 or

Monthly State Board Report also available in Podcast form at MNEA Connects. Listen on Amazon Music, Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts, Podbean, or Spotify!


To read past issues of this report, visit