What Does the Missouri Board of Education Do?


The Missouri State Board of Education supervises instruction in the state’s public schools from preschool through higher education and adult education. The Board, which was established by Article IX, Section 2a of the Missouri Constitution, has many responsibilities.

Its role includes, but is not limited to:

· Appointing the State Commissioner of Education
· Setting the policies for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
· Defining academic performance standards and assessments.
· Accrediting local school districts through the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP).
· Operating Missouri State Schools, and
· Submitting budget recommendations for education to the Missouri Legislature.

All of the Board of Education’s duties are critical ones for Missouri’s public schools. Accreditation, performance standards, and budgets are some of the biggest categories of educational responsibility in the State of Missouri.

So when board members’ decisions affect our students, schools, and districts so universally, it’s important to understand more about the Board. How are Board members appointed? How long do they serve? What kinds of credentials do they need to have?

Who Sits on the Missouri Board of Education?

There are eight members of the Missouri Board of Education, each of whom serves an eight-year term. The Governor appoints the board’s members, and the State Senate confirms them. The members’ terms are staggered so that only one member’s term expires each year.

Members must represent more than one political party; no more than four members can belong to the same party. Additionally, each member of the board must come from a different county or congressional district to ensure that a broad range of geographic perspectives is considered in decision-making.

Board members have a range of professional backgrounds ranging from education to business to politics, and many have served on local school boards for years — or even decades — before being appointed to the State Board of Education.

You can read more about the Missouri State Board of Education on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Website. You can also find Board meeting agendas and minutes, a Board meeting schedule, and information about Missouri’s Commissioner of Education.

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