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      Missouri charter schools may get their piece of the pie

      Many local educators say the bill may not affect small Missouri communities right away because there is no immediate need for charter schools.

      Missouri wants to change the way charter schools operate.

      A pair of bills, HB 1789 and SB 576, could expand the reach of charter schools.

      The bills now sit on the governor's desk. If Governor Jay Nixon signs the bills, charter schools will be allowed to operate in any unaccredited school district as well as some fully accredited ones.

      Many local educators say these bills may not affect small Missouri communities right away because there is no immediate need for charter schools.

      Money to operate charter schools will come out of the same funding source as public school systems.

      "There's only so much money and when you open up other schools, that pie is divided different ways but we all want what's best for kids," Eric Churchwell, Palmyra R-1 superintendent said.

      Other parts of the bill require tougher standards for charter schools.

      It also allows for rural students to choose between a charter and public school depending on which is closer.

      Currently charter schools can only operate in St. Louis and Kansas city.