National parent coalition launches hotline to help families wrongfully blocked from enrollment by resident school districts
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (August 12, 2020) — Some Missouri families are finally getting answers on their applications to enroll in a full-time online school thanks to legal pressure from parents and help from the National Coalition for Public School Options (PSO).
Under the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program (MOCAP), families have the right to access full-time online schools and programs for their kids. However, the law says that parents must first receive enrollment approval from their resident school district. For months, many school districts have ignored parents or wrongfully denied applications for questionable reasons.
Many families have partnered with PSO to understand their rights under the MOCAP law and to hold districts accountable. For some families, a simple letter from legal representation has been enough for districts to act, while other families have been forced to enter costly litigation.
“Parents should not be forced to retain legal counsel simply to access a safe and healthy learning option clearly available to them under the law,” said Jordan McGrain, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Public School Options. “Unfortunately, thousands of families requesting an online learning option now face uncertainty because districts are arbitrarily delaying or denying their enrollment requests.”
A hotline for parents seeking help was launched by PSO this week to provide resources for families with enrollment applications that have been denied or ignored by resident districts.
The toll-free number is 1-866-491-1486 and is operational 24 hours a day.
“In this time of continued uncertainty due to COVID-19, PSO is committed to helping Missouri parents get access to the online learning options needed to keep their kids safe,” said McGrain.