Our third issue and as this one goes online, issues four and five are well along in their preparation stages. The goal of aiming to “be around for years to come” is what we want and, we feel, we are heading in that direction.
The three articles included in this issue, again represent a variety of issues important to Missouri. In the Guidelines for Authors, we stress, and emphasize this when working with authors, that our articles need to be aimed at the educated adult reader—clarity matters. This current issue continues that focus.
Lindenwood University offers an EdD program and we are pleased to be able to include an article version of an EdD dissertation (Charter Schools) in the current issue.
The hunt for topics addressing Missouri policy affairs, and the search for authors, is a constant ongoing process. We encourage readers to consider contacting the editor with topics they may be researching to discuss publishing their articles in future issues of the Missouri Policy Journal.
Joseph A. Cernik, Editor
Cover: Denise Jacobson
Logo: Colleen M. Cernik, Lindenwood '14
Copy Editor: Shelley Walton
Charter Schools as a Choice for Missouri Families
Amanda N. Aldridge
Charter schools are publically funded, non-sectarian, tuition-free organizations that educate students. The charter model was created to allow schools to remain free from some governmental regulations and to offer parents a tuition-free choice for K-12 education. Across the country, millions of students attend charter schools, and another million remain on waiting lists to get into these schools. Ultimately, charter schools attract families that have similar belief systems and missions as the school claims, and again, offer parents a choice in public education. High quality educational options that provide a safe and nurturing environment for students and encourage personal growth and academic achievements are needed in Missouri.
Access to Justice in the Show-Me State: Meeting the Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Missourians
Melissa C. Emerson
Access to justice is a fundamental component of a healthy democracy. There is no right to an attorney in most civil legal cases in the United States, which has led to a growing justice gap. The availability of civil legal aid is largely dependent on where one is situated geographically. This article examines the current civil legal aid landscape in the state of Missouri, highlighting the funding sources, legal aid delivery mechanisms, and pro bono service among Missouri attorneys. Policy recommendations are provided that could serve to narrow the justice gap in the state.
A Cardinal That Does Not Look That Red: Analysis of a Political Polarization Trend in the St. Louis Area
The political polarization of metropolitan areas is occurring widely within the United States. By highlighting the political polarization that has been underway for decades in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin metropolitan area, this can serve as a way to understand political polarization within the St Louis metropolitan area. This article uses political and demographic data from the Missouri Information Spatial Data Information Service to take a close look at developments in the St Louis metropolitan area. Geographic Information System (GIS) was used and the maps were created using Archmap. The results suggest that political polarization is occurring within the St Louis metropolitan area.