A group of teachers and community members rallied Saturday at Mill Creek Park, advocating for Missouri to implement a statewide school reopening plan based on a decline in coronavirus cases.

They waved signs that read “Ms. Frizzle would be so disappointed,” “Science not politics,” and “Online until decline.”

A new report by a nonprofit group of retired admirals and generals shows that lack of access to quality and affordable child care in Missouri is limiting military service and could ultimately affect national security. 

Mission: Readiness is a bipartisan organization whose goal is keeping kids in school, fit and out of trouble. Its report shows that 71% of Missourians age 17 to 24 are ineligible to serve in the military due to educational shortcomings, criminal history, drug use or obesity, according to Department of Defense data.

“The best way to address these disqualifiers is to start early,” said retired Brig. Gen. Daryl McCall. “There is scientific consensus that brain development from birth to age 5 sets the foundation for a child’s future success.” 

Missouri school districts that blend in-person and remote learning because of the pandemic won’t face funding penalties related to attendance.

The State Board of Education passed two emergency rules Tuesday establishing how schools that opt for hybrid instruction models will be paid during the 2020-21 school year. The emergency rules pave the way for districts to release their plans for reopening schools.

Even fewer Missouri students have reliable internet connectivity than previously thought, according to a new report from the nonprofit Common Sense Media.

The group, which makes entertainment and technology recommendations for families, estimates that 36% of Missouri students don’t have adequate internet access for virtual learning.

An earlier Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education survey put that figure at 23%. Both studies found that cost was the biggest barrier to access.

Pediatric infectious disease experts at Children’s Mercy Hospital say schools in Kansas and Missouri need to reopen this fall because not being in school is riskier for most kids than the coronavirus.

Too many students don’t have access to the devices, bandwidth or supervision they need to participate fully in remote learning, Dr. Jennifer Schuster said during a recent webinar for educators.

“Remote learning is not a viable, permanent option for going back to school in the fall,” she said.