MO State HS Sports
State Rep. Brad Pollitt (R-Sedalia) speaks on the Missouri House floor in Jefferson City on March 8, 2023 (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

(AUDIO): Mid-Missouri lawmaker downplays consolidation concerns involving open enrollment

The Missouri House narrowly approved open enrollment legislation before their spring break.

The vote was 85-69, with about 30 Republicans voting no. The bill is sponsored by House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee chairman State Rep. Brad Pollitt (R-Sedalia). He tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that districts must opt-in to participate.

“Basically this bill puts into the hands of the local taxpayers that have students in a district the ability to shape their district in the future,” Pollitt says.

Critics worry the bill will lead to school district consolidation in rural and urban Missouri. Chairman Pollitt downplays that, noting the word “consolidation” is not in the bill.

Supporters of open enrollment legislation say it’s designed to give parents and students more choice.

“The local tax dollars stay local. So if a student transfers out a district, those local tax dollars that are in that district stay in that district. The tax dollars that follow the student are the state and federal dollars”

Under Pollitt’s 21-page House Bill 253, parents will be responsible for transportation to the nonresident school or to an existing bus stop location in the nonresident district.

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