Missouri Legislators Convene with State and National Education Experts to Discuss Timely Education Policies

Jefferson City, MO – The inaugural Missouri Legislators Retreat convenes on the campus of Lincoln University in Jefferson City today, bringing together legislators from across Missouri. Over the course of two days, the Retreat will provide opportunities for legislators to engage in constructive conversations with leading experts and practitioners from across the state and the country.

The Retreat is co-hosted by Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Senator Gary Romine, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee and Chairman of the Joint Committee on Education, and Representative Kathryn Swan, Chairman of the House Committee on Workforce Development. All members of education- and workforce-related committees from both the House of Representatives and the Senate have been invited to attend, as well as leadership from both the House and the Senate.

“As a former educator and a Hunt-Kean Fellow, I am excited to bring this retreat to Missouri, which I hope will provide legislators an opportunity to focus on education and enhance opportunities for students at every level to succeed,” said Jay Ashcroft, Missouri Secretary of State and Retreat co-chair.

Sessions will cover a wide spectrum of educational topics including how to build a robust talent pipeline, early childhood education, teacher compensation, school choice, school leadership, secondary and postsecondary credentialing, and workforce readiness, among others. The sessions are structured to offer policymakers the opportunity to develop a strong perspective on the challenges being faced by education leaders. Legislators will also engage in small group discussions on school leadership with the superintendent and principal teams from across the state to gain on-the-ground professional perspective regarding the challenges facing districts and schools. 

“Missouri’s economic and civic future relies on the strength of our education system. I am encouraged by the willingness of our leaders to dive into these difficult conversations and work together to secure the future of our state,” said Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe.

Helping to set the stage for all of the policy discussion over the two days will be Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk, President, Lincoln University; Linda Rallo, Vice-President, Aligned; Jacqueline Erickson Russell, Senior Program Officer, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Dr. Roger Dorson, Deputy Commissioner, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; Paul Kincaid, Executive Director, Jobs for America’s Graduates- Missouri; and Dr. Gary Ritter, Dean, School of Education, St. Louis University.

“This is a great opportunity for legislators to come together and hear from experts and educators so that we can develop solutions for the challenges facing Missouri’s students and educators across the education continuum,” Senator Gary Romine noted.

Legislators will also hear from a variety of resource experts and education leaders from across the state and country including:

  • Margie Vandeven, Commissioner of Education, Missouri Department of Elementary and
    Secondary Education
  • Zora Mulligan, Commissioner of Higher Education, Missouri Department of Higher Education
  • Scott Jenkins, Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation
  • Stacey Preis, Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Learning Services, Missouri Department
    of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Albert Wat, Senior Policy Director, Alliance for Early Success
  • Lisa Grover, Senior Director, State Advocacy, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
  • Robbyn Wahby, Executive Director, Missouri Charter Public School Commission
  • Jennifer Collier, Chief Human Resources Officer, Kansas City Public Schools
  • Ann Taylor, Dean, University of Missouri at St. Louis College of Education
  • Chris Henderson, Partner, TNTP
  • Josh McGee, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
  • Neil Campbell, Director, Innovation, Center for American Progress
  • Steven Gentile, Associate Chief Fiscal Officer, Tennessee Higher Education Commission
  • Jessica Cunningham, Interim Executive Director, Kentucky Center for Statistics

Representative Kathryn Swan shared, “We are looking forward to hearing about the great work being done in Missouri and across the country to best serve students. This is an important step toward designing policies that will lead all Missouri students to be successful and prepared for the future.”

“The Hunt Institute looks forward to continuing to demonstrate our commitment to students, teachers and school leaders by expanding our Legislative Retreat model into Missouri,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, President & CEO of the Hunt Institute. “We are thankful for the support and partnership of our co-chairs and are excited about the opportunity to support Missouri’s leaders in improving outcomes for students across the state.”

Read more about this convening as published in Missouri, News Tribune here.


About The Hunt Institute
An affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, The Hunt Institute is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network since it was established in 2001, the Institute brings together people and resources that help build and nurture visionary leadership and mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success.