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Missouri lawmakers push charter school expansion

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri lawmakers are pushing to expand charter schools around the state.

Advocates say less oversight from traditional public school boards and the state gives school leaders the ability to innovate in the classroom. But critics say there’s not enough accountability for schools that receive tax dollars while being independently run.

Current Missouri law allows charters to operate independently of local districts only in Kansas City in St. Louis, where charters have received a mixed bag of performance scores.

Bills working their way through the Missouri Legislature would expand that process to the rest of state, where charter schools currently must be tied to local school districts. No districts have opened a charter school.