Private School Regulation
Recordkeeping/Reports: Each school superintendent of
a private, parochial, or parish school must prepare a record showing the
immunization status of every child enrolled. The superintendent must report
the name of any parent or guardian who neglects or refuses to permit a
nonexempt child to be immunized. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 167.181(4). Student
immunization records may be disclosed without a parent/guardian's written
authorization to individuals with a need to know as specified by statute, e.g. employees
of public agencies and departments. Anyone releasing the information for
any other purpose would be liable for damages. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 167.183.
Teacher Certification: The State Board of Education
may refuse to issue or revoke a nonpublic school teacher's certificate
upon conviction of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude. Mo. Rev.
Stat. § 168.071(2).
Curriculum: Private schools, except privately operated
trade schools, must provide courses of instruction in the Constitution
of the United States and of Missouri, American history and institutions.
Instruction must begin not later than 7th grade and continue in high school
to the extent determined by the Commissioner of Education. No pupil can
receive a certificate of graduation from any private school, except private
trade schools, without satisfactorily passing an examination on these subjects.
The Commissioner will prescribe a list of suitable texts. These provisions
do not apply to foreign exchange students. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 170.011.
Special Education: The Missouri Department of Education
may assign severely handicapped children to a private agency when it is
in the best interests of the child. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 162.735. Special
educational services may be offered during the regular school day to children
who attend private, parochial, and parish schools. Transportation is not
required for these services. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 162.996.
Health: Students attending private, parochial, or parish
schools must comply with the Department of Health regulations governing
the immunization against poliomyelitis, rubella, rubeola, mumps and diphtheria,
tetanus and pertussis. A student may not attend school unless he has been
immunized, presents evidence of having begun the process, or is exempt.
Students are exempt from immunization if a parent/guardian presents to
the school administrator a written objection based on religious beliefs
or a written statement from a licensed physician that the immunizations
are medically contraindicated. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 167.181.
Safety: Private elementary and secondary schools may
obtain information from Missouri's central registry of child abuse and
neglect reports for information pertaining to employees and volunteers
or prospective employees and volunteers who provide services or care for
children. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 210.150(8).
Students, teachers and visitors are required to wear industrial quality
eye protective devices for courses involving exposure to certain hazardous
materials. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 170.005.
Private and parochial schools were required to examine their structures
for friable asbestos and report the results to the Department of Health
by March 1, 1987. Schools that have not completed their removal plan must
reevaluate the material biennially and file a report with the Department.
Schools that identified nonfriable asbestos must reevaluate the material
every 3 years, file a report with the Department and make their findings
available to its employees and the public. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 643.263.
Distribution of a controlled substance on or within 1000 feet of a private
elementary or secondary school in Missouri is a felony. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 195.214.
"School-Based Nonviolent Conflict Resolution" materials developed by the
Department of Health and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
can be made available to all schools, including private and parochial schools,
and the general public. Mo. Rev. Stat. §170.046.
Home Schooling: Any parent may educate a child at home.
The parent does not have to hold a teaching certificate or meet any education
requirements. If a parent decides to home school, he or she must provide
1,000 hours of instruction during the school year, with at least 600 hours
in the basics, such as reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies,
and science. At least 400 of the 600 hours must be taught in the home location.
Mo. Rev. Stat. §167.031
A parent who is home schooling a child must maintain the following records:
a plan book, diary, daily log, or other written record indicating subjects
taught and the activities engaged in with the student; a portfolio containing
samples of the student?s academic work; and a record of evaluation of the
student?s academic progress. Mo. Rev. Stat. §167.031
The parents may notify the superintendent of schools or the recorder of
county deeds in the county where the parent resides of their intention
to home school. This is done before September 1 annually. The law is permissive
in the area of registering and does not mandate registration. Mo. Rev.
If families are educating students of high school age and elect to re-enroll
in the public schools, they need to be aware of the local board of education
policies on accepting credit for students from unaccredited educational
programs. There is no recognized high school diploma for home school students.
Individuals who have been home schooled may take the high school equivalency
exam to obtain their GED.
Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: The
Missouri Constitution provides "No person can be compelled to . . . support
any . . . teacher of any sect." Missouri Const. Art. I § 6. The public
school fund may not be used for any other purpose than establishing and
maintaining free public schools. The Constitution further prohibits public
aid to any private school controlled by any religious creed, church, or
sectarian denomination. Missouri Const. Art. IX § 8.
The provision of textbooks to teachers in private schools violates the
Missouri Constitution. Paster v. Tussey, 512 S.W. 2d.97 (Mo. 1974).
The provision of transportation of parochial school students by public
school bus that also transported public school children violates the Missouri
constitution. McVey v. Hawkins, 258 S.W.2d 927 (1953).
Missouri's Constitution notwithstanding, educationally deprived children
attending nonpublic schools in Missouri are entitled to receive federal
funds for special services comparable in quality, scope and opportunity
to children in public schools. Barrera v. Wheeler, 475 F.2d 1388
Missouri provides special services to children enrolled in nonpublic schools
identified as having a high risk of dropping out of school. Services may
include skills assessment, tutoring, academic and personal counseling,
family counseling, home visits and staff development. Services must be
provided at sites other than sectarian nonpublic schools. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 167.280.
Miscellaneous: Students in Missouri have the opportunity
to enroll at public, private, parochial, parish, home schools or a combination
of the above. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 167.031.
The chief school officer of a nonpublic school has a duty to provide students
information on available financial assistance for post-secondary education.
The Commissioner of Higher Education will provide nonpublic schools and
their pupils with relevant information. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 167.278.
The construction of private schools in Greene County is not permitted
in an airport zone. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 305.405(3).