Support Universal Pre-K Education in Missouri

March 18, 2024

HB1486, a bill that would fund pre-kindergarten education for low-income students attending public or charter schools, recently passed the MO House with bipartisan support. It is currently awaiting action in the MO Senate. Contact your state senator to support the passage of HB1486. Find your state senator here.

Women’s Voices has consistently advocated for universal pre-K education throughout the state as an essential investment in our future. Read our position paper here.

Read coverage from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch here.

Women’s Voices Signs on to Statewide Right to Read Coalition

September 12, 2023

Women’s Voices has joined the statewide “Right to Read” coalition, which supports Missouri’s libraries to remain an open, accessible resource for books and other materials available free of charge to the public. The coalition opposes attempts to restrict access to public libraries, including those at public schools.

The coalition has the utmost confidence in trained, experienced librarians and educators to evaluate and select materials available to the public. Membership in the Right to Read Coalition is open to organizations and individuals who support the coalition’s purpose. You are invited to join the coalition by completing the form here.

The coalition is in its early development and is guided by the following Steering Committee member organizations:
International Literacy Association, Special Interest Group, Children’s Literature & Reading, Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis, Missouri Equity Education Partnership, Missouri Literacy Association, National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis, Saint Louis University School of Education, Turn the Page KC, and U-Turn in Education

New Rule to Title IX – Narrowing Definition of Sexual Harassment

May 2020

The Department of Education changes to Title IX narrowing the definition of sexual harassment take effect August 14, 2020. Women’s Voices opposed the changes for the reasons cited in this graphic:


The American Association of University Women has launched a campaign to ensure that there are resources in the right hands to help students and survivors. One part of the campaign is to support the Gender Equity in Education Act. You can urge your congressperson to support it here.


Department of Education Recommends ​Ending Discipline Policies that Protect Children of Color

December 18, 2019-Forbes Magazine

A federal commission headed by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a long-awaited school safety report today that recommends, among other things, that the Department of Education abandon Obama-era policies aimed at protecting children of color from excessive discipline in school. The 177-page report says that disciplinary decisions should be left to classroom teachers and local administrators who should not have to follow guidance issued by the federal government….

…Research shows that when students are suspended, expelled or arrested, they are more likely to drop out of school and suffer negative consequences. Critics of discriminatory discipline, including the ACLU, have called it the “school to prison pipeline.”…

…A survey of superintendents found that only 16% had modified their disciplinary practices because of the Obama policy, but of those that made the change, 44% said it resulted in a positive experience and 4.5% said the experience was negative.

Two former Obama administration education secretaries, Arne Duncan and John King, criticized the commission’s report in a statement. “Today’s recommendation to roll back guidance that would protect students from unfair, systemic school discipline is beyond disheartening,” they wrote.

Read the full article here

Note: A report released in October, 2017 found that black students in Missouri were 4 times as likely to be suspended as white students. The report detailed the ways in which black students and students with disabilities are disproportionately suspended, arrested and otherwise disciplined in Missouri schools. See here

Suspensions Are Down In U.S. Schools But Large Racial Gaps Remain

December 17, 2018  – NPR

Students in U.S. schools were less likely to be suspended in 2016 than they were in 2012. But the progress is incremental, and large gaps — by race and by special education status — remain.

The Child Trends analysis highlights findings that when a student disrupts class, a school can disrupt that student’s education — and his or her entire life. Research suggests suspension and expulsion, arrests and referrals to law enforcement, is associated with dropping out of schooland going to jail. All of these consequences happen more frequently to black students, even in preschool.

Black high school students are still twice as likely (12.8 percent) to be suspended as white (6.1 percent) or Hispanic (6.3 percent) high school students.

Read full article here.


Who Was Linda Brown? What has Changed in Last 64 Years?

March 30, 2018-The New York Times Race & Civil Rights Reporter discusses what has and hasn’t changed since the Brown v. Board of Education case. Listen here

Good News! A Child Care Rating System for Missouri

May 12, 2016

The Missouri legislature gave final approval to a bill that would create a rating system to evaluate and improve child care quality.

It’s a move proponents say will pave the way for the state to compete for millions of dollars of federal grants for early childhood education, while giving parents a set of point-scale ratings on how well day cares are performing. Read more here

St. Louis Apprenticeship in Child Care First in Nation

Advocates in the child-care community have long lamented the dearth of qualified child-care providers, particularly in poorer communities. A new apprenticeship program is working to address this. Click here.