The Buzz

New law reduces size of KC school board from nine to seven members

Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday signed a bill that will lower the number of members of the Kansas City school board from nine to seven.

The bill, sponsored by Missouri Sen. Paul LeVota, an Independence Democrat, also will shift the date of school board elections to the same day as municipal elections beginning in 2019. The aim, LeVota said, is to boost sagging turnout.

“The KC school district is considerably smaller than it was just 10 years ago,” LeVota said. “There’s no need for a nine-member school board, especially when many members are elected in unopposed races, if anyone runs at all.”

Under the measure, the school board will have two at-large members and five from subdistricts. Those subdistricts are to be drawn by the local redistricting commission by November 2018.

“We need voters to be more directly engaged with electing their school board,” LeVota said.