Senator Kraus Guest Column Banner

LEE’S SUMMIT, AUGUST 22, 2012  – First, I want to welcome all the teachers and students back to school. I hope everyone had a great summer and enjoyed their time off. Second, I would like for everyone to know what great schools we have in eastern Jackson County.

Last week, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released its Annual Performance Report (APR) for all school districts in Missouri. We all need to congratulate the school districts in our area for a job well done, once again. Credit goes to many, including the school boards, school administrators, principals and staff, but mostly to the great teachers and involved parents for showing that public education is alive and well in eastern Jackson County.

I would like to give special recognition to those school districts that scored a perfect 14 out of 14 on the APR:

    • Blue Springs R-IV School District (12 years)
    • Fort Osage R-I School District (four consecutive years)
    • Independence 30 School District (three consecutive years)
    • Grain Valley R-V School District (at least five consecutive years)
    • Lee’s Summit R-VII School District (12 years)
    • Lone Jack C-6 School District (at least five consecutive years)
    • Oak Grove R-VI School District (four consecutive years)

 Kansas City Accreditation and School Transfers

While the Kansas City Public School district improved its APR from a 3 to a 5, it remains unaccredited. According to current state statute, this means KCPS students could transfer to other area schools. However, several court cases have been filed regarding that statute. One case, in the St. Louis area, ended with the Missouri Supreme Court declaring the statute unconstitutional. Another case, closer to home involving several local districts, was decided last week. That judge said that three of the five districts did not have to take students, but two did: Raytown and Blue Springs. Since the decision, Blue Springs has filed an appeal.

It is unlikely that any district will have to take a single student until the dust clears on all the legal cases. There are even issues outstanding that were not addressed in this lawsuit or settled by the judge. I will keep close track and work closely with area superintendents to make sure their needs are being met. It is highly likely that the legislature will look to revise the statute in question come January. I will be watching that process carefully, as well.

End of Session Report

Last week, we mailed our End of Session Report out to many households in the 8th District. Due to our budget, we cannot afford to mail it to every household. If you did not receive a copy of the End of Session Report, you can see it online at, hover over the “Media” tab and click on “Publications.”

Legislative Survey

Each year, we survey District 8 residents so that we can keep a pulse of the district’s viewpoints on certain issues. This year, we have the survey online for you to take electronically. We will still send mailed surveys later in the year, as well. If you would like to fill out a survey regarding issues facing 8th District and Missouri, please visit, and click on either the “Legislative Survey” button on the left side of the page or the Legislative Survey  graphic in the center of the page. If you have any trouble, please let us know.

Please feel free to contact the 8th Senatorial District’s Capitol office with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at 573-751-1464, or e-mail at