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KCPS is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with profiles of Latinos who have made a difference in our community. Today, we remember Yvonne Vazquez Rangel, an education advocate who lobbied for access to bilingual education. 

John Fierro Kansas City Notable Latino

KCPS is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month featuring notable Latino community members who have made a difference in the city and/or the nation. Today, we honor John Fierro, President/CEO of Mattie Rhodes Center and a long-time public figure in Kansas City.

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KCPS is continuing our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with a spotlight on Rebecca Jaramillo, an advocate for equal rights and a founder of Fiesta Hispana, one of the first celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month in Kansas City.

Local Kansas City Hero Primitivo Garcia

Primitivo Garcia is often referred to as Kansas City's first local Hispanic hero. One KCPS elementary school is named after this hero after he gave his life to save his English teacher in 1967.

History of Charter Schools

The State laws for developing and regulating charter schools in Missouri were created in 1998 and were last amended in 2016. Missouri differs in who oversees charter schools. Nationally, almost 90 percent of charter schools are authorized by a local school district, but in Missouri, charter schools are authorized by universities or colleges, a statutorily created commission, or by the local school district, such as KCPS.

The current legislation allows the development of charter schools throughout the entire state of Missouri. Under current Missouri law, charter public schools are only allowed to operate in:

  • The Kansas City and St. Louis school districts.
  • In a school district that has been declared unaccredited or classified as provisionally accredited and has received scores on its annual performance report consistent with a classification of provisionally accredited or unaccredited for three consecutive years.
  • In an accredited school district with the school board acting as the sponsor.

There are some similarities and differences between charter schools and traditional public schools.

Similarities

  • Open enrollment is required until capacity is reached. Lottery system may be necessary.
  • Special Education services are required.
  • Federal programs and grants may be used.
  • Participation in the statewide assessment is required.

Differences

  • The governing board of charter schools is appointed, not elected.
  • Teacher certification – 20 percent of teaching staff in a charter school is allowed to be non-certificated.
  • High-risk designation is mandated by Missouri statutes.
  • Charter School student enrollment capacity is limited.
  • Charter schools are exempt from all laws other than the specific statutes governing Missouri charter schools.
  • The sponsor receives 1.5 percent of per-pupil funding to sponsors for oversight expenses.
  • The charter school may be closed if it fails to meet the tenants of the charter.

Guidance on becoming a charter school is provided by the Missouri Charter Public School Association, an association supporting the advancement of Charter schools in Missouri.

New School Development Guide

Additional information can be found on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.

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