The quality and effectiveness of schools is a major component of the economic engine of our state, and the overall quality of life for all citizens.

The charter school initiative in Missouri and across the US aims to provide high quality public school options and encourage innovation in public schooling.  A charter school is an independent public school, supported with public funds, and operated in partnership with a State approved sponsor.  Charter schools are held to the same standards as traditional public schools, but provide opportunities for innovation and school choice.

Once Missouri permitted charter schools in Kansas City and St. Louis, in 2007 College of Education committed to working with this sector of public schools to fulfill its land grant mission of service to all regions of the state.  Charter school sponsorship is another way in which the college  supports quality education for all children in Missouri’s schools, whether public, private or parochial–particularly in underserved communities.

At present, we sponsor two charters in Kansas City and four in St. Louis.  Our schools vary from individual elementary schools to those with multiple campuses, enrolling nearly 6000 students in 12 schools.

The Work

Charter school sponsors in Missouri are charged by the state with three tasks

  • Evaluate and approve charter school applications
  • Monitor school compliance with state and federal regulations and meeting charter goals
  • Renew or revoke school charters based on performance

The office routinely attends school governing board meetings, reviews documentation, and visits schools to an ensure an understanding of operations.  The office provides technical assistance and connections to resources when schools make requests.  In all of these activities, the office respects the autonomy of the school and does not impose any preferences for one model, curriculum, or resource over another.  Asking questions or sharing possible resources are not mandates for action or change.

Vision

Optimal education for all.

Mission

Exemplify best practices through quality sponsorship of excellent schools.

Goals

Open high quality charter schools.

Use best practices for monitoring and reporting school performance.

Build a network and leverage resources to maximize opportunities for our schools.

Eliminate barriers to education.