Missouri Constitution

Article IX
EDUCATION
November 14, 2016
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Free public schools--age limit.

Section 1(a). A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, the general assembly shall establish and maintain free public schools for the gratuitous instruction of all persons in this state within ages not in excess of twenty-one years as prescribed by law.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. XI, §§ 1, 3.

(Amended August 3, 1976)

Specific schools--adult education.

Section 1(b). Specific schools for any contiguous territory may be established by law. Adult education may be provided from funds other than ordinary school revenues.

Source: Const. of 1945.

State board of education--number and appointment of members--political affiliation--terms--reimbursement and compensation.

Section 2(a). The supervision of instruction in the public schools shall be vested in a state board of education, consisting of eight lay members appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate; provided, that at no time shall more than four members be of the same political party. The term of office of each member shall be eight years, except the terms of the first appointees shall be from one to eight years, respectively. While attending to the duties of their office, members shall be entitled to receive only actual expenses incurred, and a per diem fixed by law.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. XI, § 4.

Commissioner of education--qualification, duties and compensation --appointment and compensation of professional staff--powers and duties of state board of education.

Section 2(b). The board shall select and appoint a commissioner of education as its chief administrative officer, who shall be a citizen and resident of the state, and removable at its discretion. The board shall prescribe his duties and fix his compensation, and upon his recommendation shall appoint the professional staff and fix their compensation. The board shall succeed the state board of education heretofore established, with all its powers and duties, and shall have such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by law.

Payment and distribution of appropriations and income.

Section 3(a). All appropriations by the state for the support of free public schools and the income from the public school fund shall be paid at least annually and distributed according to law.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. XI, § 2.

Deficiency in provision for eight-month school year--allotment of state revenue for school purposes.

Section 3(b). In event the public school fund provided and set apart by law for the support of free public schools, shall be insufficient to sustain free schools at least eight months in every year in each school district of the state, the general assembly may provide for such deficiency; but in no case shall there be set apart less than twenty-five percent of the state revenue, exclusive of interest and sinking fund, to be applied annually to the support of the free public schools.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. XI, § 7.

Racial discrimination in employment of teachers.

Section 3(c). No school district which permits differences in wages of teachers having the same training and experience because of race or color, shall receive any portion of said revenue or fund.

Source: Const. of 1945.

Public school and seminary funds--certificates of indebtedness --renewals--liquidation--legal investment of funds--tax levy for interest.

Section 4. All certificates of indebtedness of the state to the public school fund and to the seminary fund are hereby confirmed as sacred obligations of the state to said funds, and they shall be renewed as they mature for such time and at such rate of interest as may be provided by law. The general assembly may provide at any time for the liquidation of said certificates, but all funds derived from such liquidation, and all other funds hereafter accruing to said state school or state seminary funds, except the interest on same, shall be invested only in registered bonds of the United States or the state, bonds of school districts of the state, or bonds or other securities payment of which are fully guaranteed by the United States, of not less than par value. The general assembly may levy an annual tax sufficient to pay the accruing interest of all state certificates of indebtedness.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. X, § 26, Art. XI, § 9.

Public school fund--sources--payment into state treasury--investment --limitation on use of income.

Section 5. The proceeds of all certificates of indebtedness due the state school fund, and all moneys, bonds, lands, and other property belonging to or donated to any state fund for public school purposes, and the net proceeds of all sales of lands and other property and effects that may accrue to the state by escheat, shall be paid into the state treasury, and securely invested under the supervision of the state board of education, and sacredly preserved as a public school fund the annual income of which shall be faithfully appropriated for establishing and maintaining free public schools, and for no other uses or purposes whatsoever.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. XI, § 6.

Seminary fund--sources--payment into state treasury--investment --limitation on use of income.

Section 6. The proceeds of all certificates of indebtedness due the seminary fund, the net proceeds of all sales of lands granted to the state for the benefit of the state university with its several divisions, as provided by law, and all gifts, grants, bequests, or devises to said seminary fund for the benefit of the university, and not otherwise appropriated by the terms of any such gift, grant, bequest or devise, shall be paid into the state treasury, and securely invested by the board of curators of the state university and sacredly preserved as a seminary fund, the annual income of which shall be faithfully appropriated for maintenance of the state university, and for no other uses or purposes whatsoever.

Source: Const. of 1945.

County and township school funds--liquidation and reinvestment --optional distribution on liquidation--annual distribution of income and receipts.

Section 7. All real estate, loans, and investments now belonging to the various county and township school funds, except those invested as hereinafter provided, shall be liquidated without extension of time, and the proceeds thereof and the money on hand now belonging to said school funds of the several counties and the city of St. Louis, shall be reinvested in registered bonds of the United States, or in bonds of the state or in approved bonds of any city or school district thereof, or in bonds or other securities the payment of which are fully guaranteed by the United States, and sacredly preserved as a county school fund. Any county or the city of St. Louis by a majority vote of the qualified electors voting thereon may elect to distribute annually to its schools the proceeds of the liquidated school fund, at the time and in the manner prescribed by law. All interest accruing from investment of the county school fund, the clear proceeds of all penalties, forfeitures and fines collected hereafter for any breach of the penal laws of the state, the net proceeds from the sale of estrays, and all other moneys coming into said funds shall be distributed annually to the schools of the several counties according to law.

Source: Const. of 1945.

Prohibition of public aid for religious purposes and institutions.

Section 8. Neither the general assembly, nor any county, city, town, township, school district or other municipal corporation, shall ever make an appropriation or pay from any public fund whatever, anything in aid of any religious creed, church or sectarian purpose, or to help to support or sustain any private or public school, academy, seminary, college, university, or other institution of learning controlled by any religious creed, church or sectarian denomination whatever; nor shall any grant or donation of personal property or real estate ever be made by the state, or any county, city, town, or other municipal corporation, for any religious creed, church, or sectarian purpose whatever.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. XI, § 11.

State university--government by board of curators--number and appointment.

Section 9(a). The government of the state university shall be vested in a board of curators consisting of nine members appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. XI, § 5.

Maintenance of state university and other educational institutions.

Section 9(b). The general assembly shall adequately maintain the state university and such other educational institutions as it may deem necessary.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. XI, § 5.

Free public libraries--declaration of policy--state aid to local public libraries.

Section 10. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state to promote the establishment and development of free public libraries and to accept the obligation of their support by the state and its subdivisions and municipalities in such manner as may be provided by law. When any such subdivision or municipality supports a free library, the general assembly shall grant aid to such public library in such manner and in such amounts as may be provided by law.

Source: Const. of 1945.
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