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Amendments Deal With Sex Offenders Teaching on College Campuses

Amendments to bills moving through the MO legislature pertain to colleges and universities that employ registered sex offenders. Michele Skalicky reports.

Momentum is growing in Jefferson City to bar registered sex offenders from teaching in Missouri's colleges and universities. House speaker pro-tem Carl Bearden says an amendment to a tax bill approved Thursday would financially punish parents if they send their kids to a college that employs sex offenders as instructors.

"That amendment was in giving a tax deduction to parents for the tuition they pay at public and private institutions, and this would say if you send your child or pay tuition to an institution, public or private, that has a registered sex offender on the faculty, you would not qualify for the tax deduction."

Wednesday, the Senate approved an amendment to the MOHELA bill that would bar MOHELA funds from being used at colleges that employ registered sex offenders as instructors. That amendment gives a deadline of September first for universities to fire any such instructor or for them to resign in order to qualify for the funding.

Missouri State University employs a biosciences professor who spend 3 1/2 years in prison for raping a minor 20 years ago.

Dr. Michael Nietzel is president of Missouri State.

"The legislature passes laws that it thinks is appropriate, and universities are responsible for following the laws, so we'll wait and see and do what is the proper thing for us to do."

The MOHELA bill would authorize spending $350 million in student loan assets on new construction projects on college campuses.