Lawsuit filed over education initiative petition

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Several Missouri school officials are challenging the summary and cost estimate of a proposed constitutional amendment that could appear before voters in 2014.

The initiative petition would prohibit new contracts that are longer than three years for staff members who are certified to teach in Missouri. Schools also would establish an evaluation system used for employment decisions such as retention, promotion and dismissal. Supporters must gather sufficient signatures to get the proposal on the ballot.

The lawsuit contends the summary developed by the secretary of state’s office is insufficient and unfair. Among the complaints is that it does not mention school employees could be hired as “at will employees.”

Plaintiffs are the Ferguson-Florissant school board president, the business manager for Hannibal schools and a teacher from Columbia and from Smithville.

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