Report of the Missouri State Board of Education Meeting (Oct. 19, 2021)

Commissioner Vandeven’s statement on the breach of educator information data on the DESE website.
“The Department was made aware Tuesday of a vulnerability within the data in our educator certification search tool. DESE worked with OAITSD to immediately shut down the tool and we are working with ITSD to relaunch it with every certainty that the data are protected. The Department sent initial communication to educators just before the Office of Administration’s public announcement. Upon completion of the investigation, DESE will be able to share more and send an additional notification to any and all educators impacted. I cannot stress enough that our Agency is taking this issue very seriously and that the security of our data is of the utmost importance to us.” The Commissioner did not share a timeframe for the completion of the investigation.

The majority of Missouri’s public schools, 59%, do not serve gifted and talented students.
The Advisory Council on the Education of Gifted and Talented Children was established in 2013 to provide advice regarding programs related to the education of Missouri’s gifted and talented children. The Council’s primary recommendation to the State Board is to require all districts to provide gifted programming. The number of districts providing services for gifted and talented students has declined every year since 2013. The Council also recommends teacher preparation programs include coursework addressing the needs of gifted students and all teachers should be provided ongoing professional development that supports gifted students in grades pre-K-12. The Council has recommended an Equity Statement that addresses the chronic underrepresentation of students of color in gifted programming. The Council’s complete report outlines multiple recommendations to address gifted and talented services for diverse populations, rural districts, and secondary level students.

New members appointed to oversight boards in Riverview Gardens and Normandy School Districts.
The State Board adopted a proclamation adding two new members to the Riverview Gardens School District Special Administrative Board. Dr. Miranda Avant-Elliott and Reggie Jones will expand the SAB (established in 2010) from three to five members. The SAB remains in place as an alternate form of governance for Riverview Gardens School District and will be reviewed again in Spring 2022. Valerie Patton was appointed to the Normandy Schools Collaborative Joint Executive Governing Board, filling a vacant seat on the JEGB. Commissioner Vandeven reiterated that the goal for both Riverview Gardens and Normandy is to return to a locally elected school board.

DESE’s ongoing COVID-19 response and guidance
DESE personnel summarized the ongoing COVID-19 responses for districts. The department continues to issue updated financial and operating guidance.

  • Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSR) I and II funds and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) I and II funds are largely distributed. ESSR III applications from school districts are under review and awaiting legislative appropriation.
  • The recently approved “Test to Stay” protocol allows staff/students to remain in school following an exposure by undergoing frequent testing and by wearing a mask in school at all times following an exposure.
  • TEACH Missouri is a three-year, $50 million dollar grant initiative designed to recruit and retain educators, support statewide public service advertising, host regional Pathways to Teaching Careers recruiting events, and develop a digital teacher recruitment platform:
  • The Missouri Postsecondary Advising Initiative (MPAI) is a three-year initiative that will place college and career advisors as additional staff in high school counseling offices to help students navigate post-secondary planning.

In other business the State Board:

  • Approved the following rules will be opened for public comment:
    • Rescind the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program because it is no longer funded.
    • Career Education secondary and adult certificates. Adds the area of Crisis/Emergency/Disaster Management as a skilled technical science certificate. It also updates the name of the Cartography certificate to Geographic Information Science and Cartography, and it updates the name of the Law Enforcement/Police Science to Criminal Justice Technology.
    • Substitute certificates. Reinstate the emergency rule adding language that allows Department-approved training as an alternative route to obtain a substitute certificate of license to teach.
    • Denial of teacher certificates. Updates the procedures (requirements, officers, videoconferencing) for hearings regarding the discipline of certificates of license to teach.
    • Gifted Programs. Update terminology, adding the word “equitable” to describe the process of identification and selection of students and update the program guidelines.
  • Approved the following rules for publication:
    • Internet Filtering. Updates the rule to include references to federal law and provides the standards by which schools will be held accountable under state law.
    • Department Organization. Describes the organization of DESE, as well as the procedures by which the public may obtain information and make submissions or requests.
    • Access to Public Records and Fees for Copying of Public Records. Establishes procedures and fees.
  • Received a report on the progress of the staffing and logistic development of the new Office of Childhood.
  • Received a report from the Division of Financial and Administrative Services that no public or charter school in Missouri has been identified as financially stressed.

The next meeting of the Missouri State Board of Education will be on December 7, 2021. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Rebeka McIntosh or Ann Jarrett at 800-392- 0236. Details of state board agenda items can be found here.

Respectfully submitted,
Rebeka McIntosh, MNEA vice president                                  

Ann Jarrett, MNEA teaching and learning director               


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