Missouri schools bill will require lead testing, literacy programs

JEFFERSON CITY — For many Missouri lawmakers in the final week of session, good things are coming in large packages.

With just two days until the Friday evening deadline to deliver legislation to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk, both the House and Senate are moving to get priorities through the finish line. Central among them is a bill loaded with programs and reforms for K-12 education: it requires schools to test and filter their water for lead, puts in place assessment and intervention programs for student literacy and creates substitute teaching certificates, among a litany of other measures.

Senate Bill 681, which was originally sponsored with a focus on literacy programs by Republican Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin of Shelbina, earned praise from the other side of the aisle Tuesday evening. It passed the Senate 29-4 and now awaits a final vote in the House.

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