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University of Central Missouri
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Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
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Governor Names Curtis to Missouri Charter Public School Commission

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Sept. 24, 2014)  The University of Central Missouri, the first higher education institution in Missouri to sponsor charter schools, is now being tapped by Gov. Jay Nixon to get involved in statewide discussions related to the expansion of these unique schools. Nixon today named Deborah Curtis, UCM provost and chief academic officer, to the Missouri Charter Public School Commission.

Deborah Curtis
Deborah Curtis

A news release issued by the governor’s office notes Curtis’ appointment is for four years, concluding Sept. 17, 2018. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

“We’re very proud that Dr. Curtis has been chosen for this prestigious position,” said UCM President Charles Ambrose, who nominated her. “UCM is a pioneer in Missouri’s charter school movement, and we believe the commission can benefit from the knowledge and experience that Dr. Curtis will bring to the group. She understands the need for charter schools and the challenges faced by sponsors like UCM, as well as the parents and educators who are actively engaged in these alternative schools.”

The Missouri Charter Public School Commission was established for the purpose of sponsoring charter schools throughout the state. The commission was made possible through Senate Bill 576, which provides for charter school extension. The commission can have up to nine members, all appointed by the governor. It reports to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. SB 576 was the first major piece of charter school legislation since 1998, which made charter schools possible in Missouri.

Curtis said it is a “genuine honor to be appointed to this state commission. There is so much essential work that needs to take place to better position public charter schools to serve Missouri students and their families. This calls for in-depth discussions about accessibility as well as meaningful deliberation surrounding accountability. I'm sincerely looking forward to this work. It is exactly what the University of Central Missouri focuses upon with our sponsorship of nine public charter schools.”

Curtis joined UCM July 1, 2012 after serving from 2006 as dean of the College of Education at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. Curtis came to Illinois State in 1986 as an instructional assistant professor, and climbed the faculty ranks to become a professor in 1998. Earlier in her career, she was a public school teacher at a variety of schools in Illinois and in Indiana.