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State attorney general hits SPS with subpoena

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Springfield Public Schools is one of seven districts subpoenaed June 8 by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt over student surveys. 

In a news release announcing the action, Schmitt is asking the district to respond to its decision to issue student surveys that allegedly asked about parents’ political beliefs and income levels and included racially biased questions. The surveys may have been given without consent of parents, according to Schmitt. 

The other school districts in Schmitt’s investigation are Neosho, Jefferson City, Mehlville, Webster Groves, Lee’s Summit and Park Hill. 

Stephen Hall, SPS' chief communications officer, said Schmitt’s latest action demonstrates that public education remains a primary target of the attorney general. 

“Springfield Public Schools will always comply with the law,” Hall said. “Unfortunately, school districts across our state are incurring ongoing, significant legal fees to defend against ongoing allegations.” 

Hall said it is the state’s taxpayers who incur the costs of Schmitt’s actions. 

“These attacks are divisive at a time when we need to unify on behalf of children,” Hall said. 

The Attorney General’s Office also announced a newly launched portal to index Sunshine Law requests sent to school districts on behalf of parents.  

Schmitt said as AG, he has made it his mission to empower parents and increase transparency in the state’s schools. 

“Subjecting students to personal, invasive surveys created by third-party consultants potentially without parents’ consent is ridiculous and does nothing to further our children’s education,” he said in the release. 

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