Independence School District
Board of Education Resolution
Advocating Equity in Missouri Public Schools

Whereas, the Independence School District Board of Education of Independence, Missouri, believes effective high-quality public schools are essential in helping students graduate success ready, in building productive members of society, in developing an educated workforce, in supporting safe and healthy communities, and in providing opportunities to break the cycle of poverty.

Whereas, Article IX, Section 1(a) of the Missouri State Constitution states: “A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, the general assembly shall establish and maintain free public schools for the gratuitous instruction of all persons.”

Whereas, the mission of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is “to guarantee the superior preparation and performance of every child in school and in life,” and has the Strategic Priority of “Access, Opportunity, Equity: Provide all students access to a broad range of high-quality educational opportunities from early learning into post high school engagement.”

Whereas, Missouri Revised Statute 160.415 stipulates each charter school shall report the names, addresses, and eligibility for free and reduced price lunch, special education, or limited English proficiency status, as well as eligibility for categorical aid, of pupils resident in a school district who are enrolled in the charter school to the school district in which those pupils reside. And, each charter school shall promptly notify the state department of elementary and secondary education and the pupil’s school district when a student discontinues enrollment at a charter school.

Whereas, Missouri Revised Statute 160.415.4(6)(a) stipulates each charter school shall report to its sponsor, the local school district, and the state board of education as to its teaching methods and any educational innovations and the results thereof.

Whereas, Missouri Revised Statute 160.415.4(6)(c) stipulates nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as permitting a charter school to be held to lower performance standards than other public schools within a district.

Whereas, existing charter schools residing in and under the control of the state of Missouri:

  • routinely perform below the local school district in academic performance without consequence.
  • counsel low performing and/or high discipline students out of the charter system, back into the local schools further increasing an already high mobility rate which acts as a significant detriment to the potential success of those students.
  • cap enrollment and provide reduced services to students with IEPs thus limiting access to students with the greatest need.
  • do very little to communicate to the local school district the residency, free and reduced, IEP and LEP status. Nor do they communicate when those students leave the charter school rendering their status and well-being untrackable.

Whereas, the Independence School District Board of Education is concerned for the welfare of every child in the state of Missouri.

Therefore, Be it Resolved that the Independence School District Board of Education does hereby affirm that all of the state’s public schools be held to the same high standard for academic performance, access, accountability, and transparency. Further, it recognizes the policies and practices that permit charter schools to exist with less oversight and accountability mean many are not shining examples of “school choice,” but are the root of social injustice because they create an environment where students of the greatest need are further marginalized.