The following are facts about students on school boards in Missouri.
District School Boards
- In 1972, the Missouri state department of education did not encourage local school boards to consider roles for students on school boards.
State Board of Education
- Today, there are 8 voting members of the Missouri State Board of Education; none of them are student members or representatives.
- Students cannot join or vote on the state school board in Missouri.
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From 2001 to 2005, the Missouri Youth Cabinet actively engaged dozens of students in state-level policy-making, including in the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.
For each year of Governor Bob Holden’s administration, 45 students between the ages of 17 and 22 served as policy advisors to the governor by working for designated state departments, which also included public safety, agriculture and home land security in addition to education. Youth Cabinet members worked closely with their official counterparts.
Targeting nonprofit and education-oriented youth organizations, the Governor’s Youth Policy Team narrowed the candidate field. An average of 500 students applied for the annually for the Missouri Youth Cabinet.
Twenty students were selected by the Governor, with two typically assigned to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Each student member of chaired a committee of students, which in turn ensured diversity and inclusion while assisting the students in the advising process.
A national nonprofit organization hosts a nationwide program for students to determine how teaching and learning works better, modeling Meaningful Student Involvement.
With major support from a national foundation, a nonprofit organization called What Kids Can Do funded organizations to engage students as researchers in their schools. The project was active in 2003-04 and again from 2011-12. Funding projects in Chicago, Houston, Oakland, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, the Students as Allies in School Reform project sought to answer these questions:
- What if teachers and students became steady allies rather than frequent adversaries in their daily classroom encounters?
- What would it take for students to become stakeholders not just in their own success but also in that of their teachers and schools?
Students led the studies at their schools, surveying students and teachers and presenting their findings to a variety of audiences. What Kids Can Do provided the survey and supporting materials, and students created recommendations based on their findings.