State officials could intervene quicker in failing Missouri school districts

Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that could allow quicker state intervention in failing school districts.

Missouri districts that lose state accreditation currently have two years before state education officials can step in. The legislation would remove that waiting period.

The measure also would allow the state Board of Education to prescribe conditions under which a local board could continue overseeing a failing district. The state board also could set up an alternative governing structure, such as a special administrative board, merging the district with neighboring ones or splitting the district into several new ones.

Senators gave the measure final legislative approval 32-1 on Wednesday. It passed the state House 107-49 on Tuesday. The legislation now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.