Missouri State Board of Education to meet for first time in 2018

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JEFFERSON CITY – After five months of cancelled meetings, the Missouri State Board of Education will hold its first meeting of 2018 on Thursday.

Gov. Mike Parson appointed two new members, Peter Herschend and Carol Hallquist, on Tuesday.

The addition of the new members means the board can now hold meetings and pass measures.

Missouri has an 8-member board of education that requires at least five seats to be filled in order to hold a meeting.

Missouri teaching groups are pleased the board will now be able to meet and focus on items from the agenda that were previously put on hold.

The Learning and Teaching Director of the Missouri National Education Association, Ann Jarrett, said the board being able to meet again means everyone can get back to work.

“We’re very glad that the state board of education is going to be functioning once again so that they can take care of the business of education, so that students and staff and schools can start taking care of the business of learning,” Jarrett said.

She also said a focus of the meeting Thursday will be making sure the new board members are filled in on the latest information.

“The most important thing will be bringing those new members up to speed on some important actions that need to be addressed that got interrupted,” Jarrett said.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said Thursday's agenda is a little longer than usual, but it is ready to have the board back in action as well. 

Another important item on the agenda is an update on the search for a department commissioner. 

Matt Michelson, a Missouri State Teachers Association employee, said the goal of education is to always be moving forward. 

“We’re always trying to move forward, and we’re always trying to be innovative and make progress and I think having a functioning board is important to do that," Michelson said.