MISSOURI (KFVS) - Governor Nixon signed into law a bill that establishes a Quality Rating Systems for early childhood education serving children between birth and kindergarten.
Missouri is the last state to have such a system.
With the provision in Senate Bill 638, the state of Missouri is now able to apply for new federal grants that can provide funding for other early learning opportunities in the state.
Participation in the Quality Rating System is voluntary.
The rating system may include information about an early learning provider's staff qualifications, safety standards, instructional quality, and parental engagement.
Which both local educators and parents agree is a good thing.
"There are some sub-standard day care's everywhere and so that'll raise their quality of care," said Jean Fulton, the supervisor of Kids Korner in Cape Girardeau.
"It's something I think that's needed when selecting a preschool or any kind of program," said Chris Bledsoe, a parent who lives in the area. "Just like when you're deciding if you have a choice of what school you're going to"
Other provisions in the bill include:
- Allowing nonpublic high schools to apply to the State Board of Education to be certified as an A+ School, if that school meets the same requirements that apply to public high schools. The A+ scholarship program, which under Gov. Nixon has expanded to include nearly every public high school in Missouri, enables qualified students to attend one of the state’s public community colleges by covering the costs of tuition for two years.
- Establishing the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia, and directing the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary education to develop guidelines for the screening of students with dyslexia and related disorders and for the classroom support of such students.
- Requiring school districts to implement a system for identifying students in the ninth grade or students who transfer into the district after the ninth grade who are “at risk of not being ready for college-level work for entry-level career positions.” Districts are required to provide academic and career counseling to these students in an attempt to prepare them to be college or career-ready upon graduation.
- Adding American Civics to the current testing requirements for students receiving a certificate of graduation from public and private high schools in Missouri.
- Enhancing the academic and financial standards required of charter schools.