Warren County superintendents respond to state rep.’s position on school choice

By Jason Koch, Editor
Posted 12/6/23

The superintendents of the Warren County R-III and Wright City R-II school districts say they disagree with a Missouri state representative on school choice.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Warren County superintendents respond to state rep.’s position on school choice


Both the Wright City R-II and Warren County R-III school districts issued statements in response to an opinion column written by state Rep. Jeff Myers entitled “Giving parents options is the free-market approach to education” published in the Nov. 23 edition of The Warren County Record.

In that column, Myers stated “we should provide options for school choice so families choose an education that fits their children’s needs. I believe so strongly in our public schools and their ability to serve students, that I know providing some families a choice will not hurt our public education system.” 

But the superintendents of the two Warren County school districts disagreed.

“We as a society have collectively agreed to fund schools for all children to attend,” R-III Superintendent Dr. Gregg Klinginsmith said in a statement to The Record. “Rep. Myers’ position is that we take funds away from this dedicated fund to fund private schools in the form of vouchers.  Public funds need to stay with public schools so public schools can continue to provide high quality educational opportunities to all students in accordance with the Missouri Constitution.”

R-II Superintendent Dr. Christopher Berger had a similar response. In his statement, he referenced the R-II board of education’s legislative platform, which says “We oppose legislation that would divert local or state revenue from public schools to non-public educational entities through the use of tuition tax credits, vouchers, and/or education savings accounts. … We oppose any mandates, incentives or other support for states to initiate or expand charter schools unless those charter schools are sponsored by a public school board and are subject to the same accountability measures as public schools.”

Klinginsmith also took issue with another of the statements Myers made in his column regarding “one size fits all.”

In his column, Myers wrote: “I believe that we can, and should, agree that one-size-fits-all does not fit all when it comes to education. With different learning styles, interests, and needs. School choice recognizes this and acknowledges that parents are in the best position to understand their child’s individual requirements. By allowing parents to choose the educational setting that aligns with their child’s needs, we can foster a community where every student can thrive.”

But Klinginsmith said that isn’t an accurate characterization of public education.

“Those that know public schools understand that this could not be further from the truth,” Klinginsmith said in his statement. “Public schools educate all students. All means all. Public schools provide high quality education to all students from nonverbal students with special education needs to students who need specific advanced coursework to prepare them for career opportunities or prepare to enter Ivy League Universities. Public schools do it all.”

Both superintendents said they welcome future discussion on the topic.

“I welcome any conversation with any state legislature to sit down and discuss how to improve public schools,” Klinginsmith said. “Taking funds away from public schools is not the answer to improve public schools.”

About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at

wright city, warren county, school, choice, jeff myers