Governor Jay Nixon has signed legislation allowing faster state intervention in Missouri's failing school districts.
Under existing state law, school districts that lose state accreditation have two years before state education officials can step in.
Nixon signed a measure Friday removing the two-year waiting period.
The state Board of Education can prescribe conditions under which a local school board could continue overseeing a failing district. The state board could also set up an alternative governing structure, such as a special administrative board, merging the district with neighboring ones or splitting the district into many new ones.
The law will take effect August 28, 2013.
The show-me state's three unaccredited districts are the Kansas City School District, the Normandy School District in St. Louis County, and the Riverview Gardens School District in St. Louis County.