ST. LOUIS COUNTY - Longer school year, longer school days and summer school may be one of the big answers to turning struggling school districts around in Missouri said Republican State Rep. Rick Stream from Kirkwood.
Stream's bill is getting a lot of attention and support from his colleagues in the legislature. The speaker of the house is calling it the most comprehensive bill. Stream said his bill is based on lowering tuition rates for struggling schools, allowing receiving schools to stop accepting students if they don't' have space.
He also wants teams of Department of Education workers, parents, teachers to go into provisionally accredited schools to make sure they don't fail. Stream said a longer school year, longer school days and summer school could help kids at unaccredited schools make the grade.
"School districts don't have authority to extend school day or year we're giving them the authority to initiate them. These programs all cost money and I'm in a position this year as budget chairman to provide more money," he said.
Stream said some schools in struggling school districts are working.
"I've asked Dr. Nicastro numerous times, what is occurring in those successful districts and why can't we replicate in other districts? I haven't gotten a real satisfactory answer," he said.
There are 12 other bills besides Stream's. He said none of them had provisions for fixing the poverty surrounding school districts. He said none of them addressed that. Lawmakers will debate Stream's bill next week.