May 3, 2024 Less than a minute read

Bill to extend teacher externship program awaits Senate debate

Legislation to allow Missouri teachers to continue to participate in hands-on learning and take that knowledge back to their students was sent this week to the full Senate for consideration.

The Senate Select Committee on Empowering Missouri Parents and Children unanimously approved HB 1945, sponsored by Rep. Brenda Shields (R-St. Joseph). The House, with a unanimous vote, sent the bill to the Senate on April 16.  

This bill would repeal the sunset provision for the teacher externship program that is set to expire on Aug. 28.

The teacher externship program has been in place since 2019 and has allowed K-12 teachers to participate in externships at local businesses and career centers. The teachers gain hours of education to advance along the salary schedule. Over 400 teachers participated in externships last year, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Shields’ inspiration for the bill was her own experience working at the Quaker Oats Company. She said that she wished teachers would have talked with her about the variety of opportunities available at the company.

Shields also noted that partnerships with the Missouri Chamber and local chambers have been extremely valuable in getting the program off the ground.

Kara Corches, vice president of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber, told the committee the Missouri Chamber was in strong support of Shields’ bill. She said the Chamber believes it’s good policy for the state to integrate and build relationships between businesses and schools.

The Missouri Chamber Foundation has a teacher externship program known as Show-Me Careers. The program is designed for educators and school counselors to visit businesses and get hands-on learning.

For more information, contact Corches at or 573-634-3511.


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