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Source: US State of Missouri

For Immediate Release: Oct. 22, 2020

Contact: Fred Barnes, 573-751-7985

Senator Cindy O’Laughlin to Hold a Joint Committee on Education Hearing to Discuss the Effects of COVID-19 School Building Closures on Students and Parents

JEFFERSON CITY – Senator Cindy O’Laughlin, R-Shelbina, is calling a Joint Committee on Education hearing to discuss the effects of school building closures in response to COVID-19. During the hearing, the joint committee will hear from parents and students affected by the building closures. In addition, Dr. Peter Stiepleman, superintendent of Columbia Public Schools; Helen Wade and Chris Horn, members of the Columbia Board of Education; and Dr. Margie Vandeven, commissioner of education, will share their expertise on the topic.

“It is important for state leaders, school officials, parents and students to come together and have their voices heard on this important issue,” said Sen. O’Laughlin. “While our state continues to navigate the effects of COVID-19, I believe it is critical that the General Assembly does everything in its power to ensure the students of our state continue to receive a first-class education.”

The hearing will take place on Friday, Oct. 23, at 12:30 p.m. at The ARC, 1701 W. Ash St., Columbia, MO, and simultaneously livestreamed on the “CoMo Parents for In-Seat School” Facebook page. Written testimony may be submitted prior to the hearing by emailing Fred Barnes at

Senator O’Laughlin, a champion for literacy and charter school legislation, has extensive experience with K-12 education, including serving on a public school board and as an administrator at a Christian school. For more information about Sen. O’Laughlin, please visit her official Missouri Senate webpage at