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Workforce policy success is a highlight of the 2018 session

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Workforce policy was a focus for the Missouri General Assembly during the 2018 Legislative Session. Here is a short overview of the bills passed this year.

These bills will become law with the governor’s signature.

Omnibus Education Bill – House Bill 1606

  • allows teachers to count hours spent in externships with local businesses as professional development hours,
  • requires high schools and public institutions of higher education to provide information related to careers and salaries to students,
  • provides Missouri students with access to individual virtual courses, as well as a full time virtual school option, and
  • allows students to take the ACT WorkKeys assessments instead of the ACT Plus Writing assessment

Teacher Externships – House Bill 1415

  • allows teachers to count hours spent in externships with local businesses as professional development hours.

Computer Science – Senate Bills 894 and 921

  • incentivizes more Missouri high schoolers to take computer science courses by allowing those courses to count toward graduation as a math, science or elective requirement,
  • creates a process to establish rigorous new computer science standards and curriculum guidelines,
  • creates a certification for computer science teachers,
  • creates a fund to help train computer science teachers, and
  • brings an online program to Missouri that showcases STEM careers to students.

Visiting Scholars – House Bill 1665

  • helps business professionals who want to share their knowledge in Missouri classrooms avoid the lengthy, costly teacher certification process,
  • allows business professionals to receive a one-year visiting scholar certificate if they complete an application and a background check, and
  • helps boost Missouri’s CAPS programs, which give high school students the opportunity to test drive possible career options before they graduate.

Budget Items –

  • fully funds the state’s public-school funding formula for the second straight year.
  • prevents further cuts to higher education, after years of significant cuts (Earlier in the year, Missouri’s higher education community was concerned that budget discussions could bring as much as $65 million in cuts to public institutions), and
  • includes $3 million to open two of Missouri’s four planned adult high schools.

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