162.081. 1. Whenever any school district in this state fails or refuses in any school year to provide for the minimum school term required by section 163.021 or is classified unaccredited, the state board of education shall, upon a district's initial classification or reclassification as unaccredited:
(1) Review the governance of the district to establish the conditions under which the existing school board shall continue to govern; or
(2) Determine the date the district shall lapse and determine an alternative governing structure for the district.
2. If at the time any school district in this state shall be classified as unaccredited, the department of elementary and secondary education shall conduct at least two public hearings at a location in the unaccredited school district regarding the accreditation status of the school district. The hearings shall provide an opportunity to convene community resources that may be useful or necessary in supporting the school district as it attempts to return to accredited status, continues under revised governance, or plans for continuity of educational services and resources upon its attachment to a neighboring district. The department may request the attendance of stakeholders and district officials to review the district's plan to return to accredited status, if any; offer technical assistance; and facilitate and coordinate community resources. Such hearings shall be conducted at least twice annually for every year in which the district remains unaccredited or provisionally accredited.
3. Upon classification of a district as unaccredited, the state board of education may:
(1) Allow continued governance by the existing school district board of education under terms and conditions established by the state board of education; or
(2) Lapse the corporate organization of the unaccredited district and:
(a) Appoint a special administrative board for the operation of all or part of the district. The number of members of the special administrative board shall not be less than five, the majority of whom shall be residents of the district. The members of the special administrative board shall reflect the population characteristics of the district and shall collectively possess strong experience in school governance, management and finance, and leadership. Within fourteen days after the appointment by the state board of education, the special administrative board shall organize by the election of a president, vice president, secretary and a treasurer, with their duties and organization as enumerated in section 162.301. The special administrative board shall appoint a superintendent of schools to serve as the chief executive officer of the school district and to have all powers and duties of any other general superintendent of schools in a seven-director school district. Any special administrative board appointed under this section shall be responsible for the operation of the district until such time that the district is classified by the state board of education as provisionally accredited for at least two successive academic years, after which time the state board of education may provide for a transition pursuant to section 162.083; or
(b) Determine an alternative governing structure for the district including, at a minimum:
a. A rationale for the decision to use an alternative form of governance and in the absence of the district's achievement of full accreditation, the state board of education shall review and recertify the alternative form of governance every three years;
b. A method for the residents of the district to provide public comment after a stated period of time or upon achievement of specified academic objectives;
c. Expectations for progress on academic achievement, which shall include an anticipated time line for the district to reach full accreditation; and
d. Annual reports to the general assembly and the governor on the progress towards accreditation of any district that has been declared unaccredited and is placed under an alternative form of governance, including a review of the effectiveness of the alternative governance; or
(c) Attach the territory of the lapsed district to another district or districts for school purposes; or
(d) Establish one or more school districts within the territory of the lapsed district, with a governance structure specified by the state board of education, with the option of permitting a district to remain intact for the purposes of assessing, collecting, and distributing property taxes, to be distributed equitably on a weighted average daily attendance basis, but to be divided for operational purposes, which shall take effect sixty days after the adjournment of the regular session of the general assembly next following the state board's decision unless a statute or concurrent resolution is enacted to nullify the state board's decision prior to such effective date.
4. If a district remains under continued governance by the school board under subdivision (1) of subsection 3 of this section and either has been unaccredited for three consecutive school years and failed to attain accredited status after the third school year or has been unaccredited for two consecutive school years and the state board of education determines its academic progress is not consistent with attaining accredited status after the third school year, then the state board of education shall proceed under subdivision (2) of subsection 3 of this section in the following school year.
5. A special administrative board appointed under this section shall retain the authority granted to a board of education for the operation of the lapsed school district under the laws of the state in effect at the time of the lapse and may enter into contracts with accredited school districts or other education service providers in order to deliver high-quality educational programs to the residents of the district. If a student graduates while attending a school building in the district that is operated under a contract with an accredited school district as specified under this subsection, the student shall receive his or her diploma from the accredited school district. The authority of the special administrative board shall expire at the end of the third full school year following its appointment, unless extended by the state board of education. If the lapsed district is reassigned, the special administrative board shall provide an accounting of all funds, assets and liabilities of the lapsed district and transfer such funds, assets, and liabilities of the lapsed district as determined by the state board of education. Neither the special administrative board nor its members or employees shall be deemed to be the state or a state agency for any purpose, including section 105.711, et seq. The state of Missouri, its agencies and employees shall be absolutely immune from liability for any and all acts or omissions relating to or in any way involving the lapsed district, the special administrative board, its members or employees. Such immunities, and immunity doctrines as exist or may hereafter exist benefitting boards of education, their members and their employees shall be available to the special administrative board, its members and employees.
6. Neither the special administrative board nor any district or other entity assigned territory, assets or funds from a lapsed district shall be considered a successor entity for the purpose of employment contracts, unemployment compensation payment pursuant to section 288.110, or any other purpose.
7. If additional teachers are needed by a district as a result of increased enrollment due to the annexation of territory of a lapsed or dissolved district, such district shall grant an employment interview to any permanent teacher of the lapsed or dissolved district upon the request of such permanent teacher.
8. In the event that a school district with an enrollment in excess of five thousand pupils lapses, no school district shall have all or any part of such lapsed school district attached without the approval of the board of the receiving school district.
(L. 1963 p. 200 § 3-8, A.L. 1973 H.B. 158, A.L. 1992 S.B. 581, A.L. 1993 S.B. 380, A.L. 1998 S.B. 781, A.L. 2005 S.B. 287, A.L. 2013 S.B. 125)
(Source: RSMo 1959 § 165.013)
Missouri General Assembly