Top Takeaways: MNEA State Board Report (Sept. 12, 2023)

September 2023 State Board of Education


  1. Updates to The Graduation Handbook

The state board heard updates to the Graduation Handbook to reflect recent legislation (§ 170.018, RSMo & § 170.307, RSMo)

The Graduation Handbook gives an overview of graduation requirements in Missouri. School districts use this guidance to design their course offerings and academic credit for those courses.

The additions to the Handbook are as follows:

  • Mathematics or Science Credit for Computer Science Course

  • Mental Health Awareness Training during 9-12 grades

Students will still be required to participate in all EOC assessments for Math and Science courses and post-Secondary institutions may or may not accept the Computer Science Course as Math or Science credit. The guidance indicates that families and students must be made aware of these two Items If students choose to take a Computer Science course as a Math or Science credit.


  1. Updates on the Strategic Plan

The state board reviewed and discussed the draft of the revised strategic plan, which “communicates the long-term direction and vision of the Department that Is set forth by the State Board of Education.”

The new strategic plan draft reveals additions to the department’s focus and shifts in structural focus. Early Learning and Literacy have moved into two distinct priority areas; Success-Ready Students & Workforce Development and Educators Recruitment & Retention have remained as priority areas. A Completely new layer to the strategic plan Include the addition of “Foundations”, which Include Safe & Healthy Schools, Needs-Based Funding & Resources, and Family & Community Engagement. Needs-Based Funding & Resources and Family & Community Engagement are new elements that the State Board is asking the department to put more emphasis on in their work. The next steps for this work are to determine timelines, goals, and objectives for these major actions. There will also be a scorecard that is developed for the board to measure the progress on each of these priority and foundational items. This work should be finalized by the end of the current school year.

To view the current Strategic Plan, visit DESE’s website here


  1. Updates on DESE’s 2024 Legislative Priorities

The State Board Legislative Committee provided an update on the Legislative Priorities that they started working on for the 2024 Legislative Session.

The Legislative Priorities set by the State Board of Education indicate where the Board and the Department hope to influence policy in the upcoming 2024 Legislative Session. The Board’s Legislative Committee guided this update by referencing their 2023 legislative priorities to discuss where they were going to make changes.

These adjustments include:

  • Teacher Recruitment and Retention: Combine bullet points In this section to be more concise and to reflect the new recommendations from the second phase of the Blue Ribbon Commission.

  • Safe and Healthy Schools: Add a bullet point to reflect the work with new additions to standards that support CORE Skills.

  • Success Ready Students and Workforce Development: Add a literacy component.

  • Early Learning and Early Literacy: Add a bullet point advocating for this to be a part of the funding formula.

MNEA believes that every student and educator deserve 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 October 17, 2023, 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, Podbean, or Spotify!