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Board rejects charter schools

The Central Board of Education approved a resolution rejecting the expansion of charter schools into the district during Monday night’s regular board meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Desi Mayberry asked the board to consider a resolution that rejects the Missouri General Assembly’s consideration of expanding charter schools in Missouri.

The resolution, which was approved unanimously by the board, urges state legislators to reject the expansion of charter schools across the state. The resolution recognizes that the General Assembly is currently debating whether to expand charter schools and that such schools are classified as public schools and are funded by state and local taxpayers but are governed by unelected boards.

According to the resolution, if the legislative body allows charter schools to expand into the Central School District, taxpayers within the community would have no say in whether a charter school is needed and, furthermore, money would be consequently removed from classrooms due to increased overhead and operating costs.

The resolution also states that in 2016, less than half of the charter schools in Missouri met basic performance standards and that since 1999, 21 charter schools have failed in the St. Louis and Kansas City school districts, costing state and local taxpayers more than $620 million. Furthermore, when a failing charter school closes, school districts are forced to spend additional time and resources to bring those transferring students up to grade level.

The resolution noted that taxpayers within the district demand effective and efficient use of the resources they provide to the schools and, in turn, the school district strives to provide the best educational experiences for its students. Charter schools, on the other hand, would only serve to dilute resources for students within the district.

Also during the meeting Monday night, school board members recognized the achievements of students from West Elementary school and from the middle and high schools.

Art teacher Jami Heflin started things out by recognizing two of her students from West Elementary who won awards at this year’s Children’s Art Festival in Cape Girardeau. The festival showcases what local art teachers and their students are doing in their classrooms. The show, which takes place every February, features artwork from children in third to eighth grades.

Third grade student Madison Dolan won a first place award for her poem and artwork titled “Why I Love Winter.” Susannah Huddleston, also in third grade, won the festival’s top award for her artwork, which will hang in the capitol building in Jefferson City for one year.

The seventh grade girls and boys basketball teams were also recognized, as were the members of the eighth grade girls basketball team.

The eighth grade girls’ team went undefeated this season with 15 wins and was awarded with a special basketball to commemorate the accomplishment.

“We started this a few years ago,” said Middle School Principal Mike Harlow. “When a middle school team goes undefeated … and they win the tournament — if they go 15-0 — they get an autographed basketball in the trophy case. Everybody gets to sign it, with the year, and it stays in the trophy case forever. I think this is our first one since 2012.”

Several high school students were also recognized, including two members of the high school wrestling team, six softball players who were named to the Academic All-State Softball Team, eight volleyball players who were named to the Academic All-State Volleyball Team, the students of the month for January and February and the Mineral Area Elks Lodge Citizen of the Month for January and February.

In other business, the board approved a proposal presented by Technology Director Chris Warden for an application for a “50-50” enhancement grant and another proposal for E-rate funding to increase the district’s capacity for Internet bandwidth while saving a significant amount of money.  

The Central eighth grade girls basketball team is recognized during Monday night's board of education meeting for going undefeated this season with 15 wins. The team was awarded with a special basketball to commemorate the accomplishment.

The Central eighth grade girls basketball team is recognized during Monday night’s board of education meeting for going undefeated this season with 15 wins. The team was awarded with a special basketball to commemorate the accomplishment.

Members of the seventh grade boys basketball team are recognized during Monday night's meeting of the Central Board of Education.  

Members of the seventh grade boys basketball team are recognized during Monday night’s meeting of the Central Board of Education.  

Amy Patterson is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or apatterson@dailyjournalonline.com.

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