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Legislative Science Notes

Several state general assemblies in the Midwest, including Missouri’s, meet from January to May each spring, with bills pre-filed starting in December. While the legislators are actively filing, debating, and voting on legislation, MOST Policy Initiative will be drafting short ‘science notes’ to describe the science behind policy issues.

What is a science note?

Science notes are short (1-3 page) memos that describe scientific principles related to policies or legislation. Each science note features non-biased scientific data and summaries of studies that have been conducted that may relate to proposed legislation.

Legislators and legislative staff are the primary intended audience for the science notes, but they will be made publicly available on the MOST website.

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Career and Technical Education in Missouri

Career and technical education (CTE) programs during high school can provide students with academic knowledge (e.g., career-oriented courses, dual enrollment), technical skills & certifications (e.g., industry-recognized credentials), as well as real-world work experience (e.g., career academies, internships, youth apprenticeships).

Charter School Accountability

Accountability in public education describes how states and communities ensure that schools are effectively using public dollars to meet their students’ needs.

Charter School Expansion

The number of public charter schools in Missouri has almost doubled since 2008.

Childcare Facilities and License Exemptions

Childcare facilities are a necessity; such facilities provide a safe and healthy environment for children of working parents, in addition to having an important role in child development; however, different types of facilities statewide are subject to varying levels of rules and regulations.

College Credit Based on AP Scores

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program allows high school students to take college-level courses with the potential to earn college credit based on their performance on a standardized AP exam. Missouri currently allows institutions to determine their own policies regarding credit and placement for students with AP scores. During the 2021 legislative session, HB 1208 was proposed to require in-state public institutions of higher education to grant undergraduate course credit for scores of 3 or higher.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) as an intensive animal feeding operation (AFO) in which over 1000 animal units are confined for over 45 days a year.

COVID-19, Mental Health & Substance Abuse

SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 illness, has infected at least 325,000 Missourians and led to over 4,500 deaths in the state as of December 2020.

Cursive Writing

The ability to produce (write) or interpret (read) written text is central to human communication.

Decriminalization of Minor Traffic Violations

Traffic violations can range from minor infractions (e.g., speeding, illegal parking) to serious crimes (e.g., DWI, hit and run) and may result in arrest and subsequent jail time. Fines from traffic violations generate general operating revenue for local governments and municipalities.  Traffic violations can lead to a cycle of debt and incarceration for motorists of low socio-economic status. Currently, 22 states and Washington, D.C., have reduced minor traffic violations from criminal offenses to non-criminal offenses or civil infractions to decrease the associated costs related to court appearances, jail operation, and probation supervision.

Definitions of Race and Ethnicity in the United States

Race and ethnicity are distinct social constructs that are typically based on physical (race, skin
color) features and cultural (ethnicity) characteristics, including national origin and ancestry.

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