The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 29, 2013

State board seeks expansion of early childhood programs

JOPLIN, Mo. — State education officials hope to eventually expand access to early childhood education programs in Missouri, according to the president of the State Board of Education.

“It simply does make a difference,” Peter Herschend, president of the state board, said of early childhood education. “The difference in a child arriving in school, prepared to be in school, with good pre-kindergarten training is oftentimes the difference between success and failure of that child in his or her academic life.”

Herschend spoke Tuesday with representatives of the local education and business communities about the state board’s current legislative priorities at a public forum at the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.

He said the board supports a bill filed in the Senate that would make state funds available to school districts that choose to establish voluntary pre-kindergarten programs.

Those funds would be available only after the state’s foundation formula, which allocates money to public schools, is fully funded, Herschend said. The formula is about $500 million short of being fully funded, he said.

Under the proposal, early childhood programs would be voluntary both for school districts, which could choose to accept or reject state funds for such a program, and for parents, who could decide whether their child would attend, Herschend said.

Superintendent C.J. Huff said officials with Joplin schools have previously expressed interest in expanding the district’s early childhood program. It currently is funded federally and serves about 200 students part time, he said.

“The needs are out there,” he said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to give those kids a head start.”

Herschend said the primary obstacle to the bill’s passage would be finding enough money in the state’s budget to first fully fund the foundation formula and, subsequently, early childhood programs. He also said the bill could face opposition from political factions that think early childhood education should take place primarily in the home and not inside schools.

Herschend said the state board’s other legislative priority is a bill that would allow the board to immediately offer assistance to districts that have been designated as unaccredited.

Under the current law, the state board must wait two full academic years after the designation before stepping in, he said. The board’s options at that point are limited to taking over the district, breaking it into subdistricts or parceling it out among other districts, he said.

Under the proposal in front of legislators, the state board would be allowed to intervene at its discretion immediately upon a district becoming unaccredited and could offer a variety of resources, such as coaching or training, Herschend said.

“It is not the ambition of the state board to unaccredit districts,” he said. “It is the students who are really losers in that. That’s the concern.”

About five of the 520 Missouri school districts currently are listed as unaccredited, Herschend said.

A similar bill was introduced to legislators last year. It passed unanimously through the state House of Representatives but was later tied up indefinitely because of politics, he said.

Public forum

TUESDAY’S PUBLIC FORUM with Peter Herschend, president of the Missouri State Board of Education, was the seventh to be staged in the state and the first one to be put on in Joplin.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Embezzler from Joplin car dealerships sent to prison

    A federal judge has sentenced Kathryn M. Stayton to 13 months in prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from Frank Fletcher Ford and Credit Cars of Joplin. U.S. District Judge Greg Kays assessed the 36-year-old Joplin woman the prison term at a sentencing hearing this week in federal court in Springfield. The judge also ordered the former controller at both car dealerships to pay restitution totaling $121,249. 51.

    April 18, 2014

  • Screening of MSSU presidential applicants to wrap by end of April

    The Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University could be in a position to name a president as early as the end of June, according to a timeline presented Friday by the co-chair of the presidential search committee.

    April 18, 2014

  • Teams from Carl Junction, Diamond advance in Destination Imagination

    Student teams from Carl Junction and Diamond will be traveling to Destination Imagination finals May 20-24 in Knoxville, Tenn., after being top finishers in competition this month at Missouri Southern State University.

    April 18, 2014

  • Neosho Dogwood Tour reset, after false start

    The 53rd annual Neosho Dogwood Tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27. The event, presented by the Neosho Rotary Club and the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, originally was scheduled for Sunday, April 13.

    April 18, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pittsburg Farmer's Market to open in new building, new location

    The official market season in Pittsburg, Kan., will kick off in the market’s new pavilion-style building at a new address, 11th and Broadway, on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Market hours will continue throughout the season on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon, with some Wednesdays or other special days throughout the season as announced.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter