JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Missouri bill making the rounds for its stance on critical race theory also includes a provision for teachers to earn a one-time $3,000 bonus.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Koenig (R-Manchester) as SB 4, would require the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to create a “patriotic and civics training program.” Teachers who complete the training would receive a $3,000 bonus.
A spokesperson for Rep. Koenig’s office tells FOX 2 that DESE would be responsible for developing the program and delegating with agencies over potential rules, lessons and activities through the program. This provision is “subject to appropriations,” so in the scenario it passes, a committee would determine how the state would budget such bonuses.
Koenig’s office says the bill has been highly contested in recent days, but not specifically the section about patriotic and civic training or teacher bonuses.
Lengthy discussions have centered around critical race theory, in particular the possibility of a transparency portal for parents that could restrict educators from teaching CRT in schools.
Known by some as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” this provision would enable DESE to start an accountability portal and require districts to make materials used in curriculum public online.
“This is not about the teaching of history, it’s about what I’ve heard from complaints from parents where kids are being separated in the classroom and then somehow being blamed,” said Koenig on the Senate floor Wednesday.
Democrats held the floor for hours Wednesday, before debate was stopped and the bill was laid over.
“I wonder if it’s incidental that we’re talking about this on the first day of Black History Month,” said Sen. Karla May (D-St. Louis). “Why are we not talking about paying our teachers? Why is it that we’re trying to prevent educators from teaching anything in reference to Black history? Let’s talk about getting some educators in the field of education. How do we get educators to come to Missouri and teacher? This is not it.”