Summary of the House Committee Version of the Bill


SPONSOR:  Kenney (Smith)

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Civil and
Administrative Law by a vote of 8 to 5.

This substitute makes several changes in the law governing
public education.  In its main provisions, the substitute:

(1)  Authorizes any school district to adopt a policy allowing
employees of the Department of Conservation to conduct hunter
education classes on school property and to allow them to carry
unloaded firearms on school property for the purpose of
conducting the classes (Section 160.261, RSMo);

(2)  Establishes a 4-year, competitive grant program for school
districts designed to improve math curriculum and instruction
through ninth grade (Section 160.560);

(3)  Authorizes the Kansas City School District to create after
school and summer educational programs in the subjects of art,
science, and mathematics for at-risk youth.  This provision is
subject to an emergency clause (Section 167.271);

(4)  Establishes the Missouri Engineering and Science Academy, a
summer program for high school students with high ability and
interest in math and science (Section 172.880);

(5)  Establishes a summer program at the University of
Missouri-Rolla for in-service science teachers to enhance their
understanding of the impact of natural resource development and
land use changes in Missouri.  Participation in the program can
be included in a teacher's Career Ladder Development Plan, if
approved by the school board (Section 172.890);

(6)  Requires public schools that provide access to the Internet
to either use filtering software or to purchase Internet service
through a provider that filters the material that can be
accessed.  A public library may either use filtering software or
otherwise restrict minors' access to the Internet by
establishing a policy consistent with community standards.  Any
school official who neglects or refuses to comply with these
legal duties will be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a
fine not more than $500 or up to one year in jail.  Any public
school employee, public library employee, or Internet service
provider who complies with the law will not be liable if a minor
gains access to pornographic material through the use of the
school's computer (Section 182.825 and 182.827);

(7)  Exempts child care programs being held on elementary and
secondary public school property from complying with the safety,
health, and fire provisions of Chapter 210 (Section 1);

(8)  Authorizes private education institutions to participate in
the MOREnet consortium (administered by the University of
Missouri) provided that the institutions reimburse MOREnet for
costs incurred and comply with general operational guidelines of
MOREnet (Section 2).

FISCAL NOTE:  Not available at time of printing.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say that the filtering software has
greatly improved.  A few years ago, much of the software had an
accuracy rating of around 70%.  Now it's up around 97%.

Testifying for the bill were Senator Kenney; and Missouri Family

OPPONENTS:  Those who oppose the bill say that a "responsible
use policy" is already in force in most schools across the
state.  This is the only real solution to the problem, because
the filtering software, while better than it used to be, is
still flawed.  A high school student today won't be able to
research a paper on "HIV" or "STD's."  Even some legislator's
web sites are mistakenly blocked by today's software.

Testifying against the bill was Missouri Association of School

Richard Smreker, Senior Legislative Analyst

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives
Last Updated November 26, 2001 at 11:47 am