Missouri PTA JC/DC ACTION ALERT: Address Gun Violence Through Universal Background Checks

We are experiencing unprecedented numbers of acts of gun violence in our communities all over this
country. According to the CDC, firearms are the second leading cause of death for American children
and teens and the first leading cause of death for Black children and teens. Given PTA’s history of
advocacy for the safety of children and youth, National PTA and Missouri PTA support federal efforts to
protect children and youth from gun violence. We also advocate for restricting access to guns from
persons who may endanger public safety. Missouri PTA is asking you to take action and alert your
senators to co-sponsor S.42-Background Check Expansion. There are 41 cosponsors-none of which are
from Missouri.

You can use the letter below for your direct communication with your senator, or go to
https://www.pta.org/home/advocacy/take-action to utilize an auto-populated form that will contact
your Senators with a message. (You can use this letter in place of the auto-populated letter in the form.)

Dear Senator,
Gun violence continues to plague our nation. With every new report of a tragic attack, I become more
concerned about my community and my child’s safety. As a parent and PTA member, I support sensible
solutions to end gun violence through measures such as universal background checks. I urge you to
immediately support the Background Check Expansion Act (S.42) to address this national crisis.
Firearms are the second leading cause of death for American children and teens and the first leading
cause of death for Black children and teens. Given PTA’s history of advocacy for the safety of children
and youth, National PTA and Missouri PTA support federal efforts to protect children and youth from
gun violence. We also advocate for restricting access to guns from persons who may endanger public
safety.

Universal background checks for all firearm sales is a concrete step the Senate can take to begin saving
lives today. The House has taken preliminary steps to address gun violence by passing universal
background checks legislation and now, I urge you to support the Background Check Expansion Act
(S.42) immediately as an initial step towards addressing our nation’s gun violence epidemic.
We have the power to save lives through the passage of this bill. Thank you for consideration of my
views on this issue.

Sincerely,
(Your Name, Your PTA Unit)

In this together for ALL children,
Kristina Wilmoth
Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy
KristinaW@mopta.org


JC/DC Action Alert: Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

Right now, there is a humanitarian crisis at our nation’s border affecting children detained in federal immigration facilities. Time is of the essence and we ask that you send a letter to your Members of Congress urging them to conduct appropriate and sustained oversight of these facilities and guarantee that detained children are afforded enhanced protections that meet their needs.

Dear Senator,
As a constituent and PTA member, I am writing to urge you to immediately address the humanitarian crisis at our nation's border. While Congress has appropriated an emergency border aid package, it is urgent that appropriate and sustained Congressional oversight of federal detention facilities holding children is conducted. Additionally, it is vitally important that Congress ensure there are enhanced protections for the children being held in federal custody guaranteeing that they are provided hot meals, drinking water, appropriate nutrition and that their hygiene and sanitation needs are met.

As a PTA member, I believe every child-regardless of their immigration status-has the right of access to adequate food and shelter, basic health care services, and a high-quality public education. Denying these services to children, regardless of their citizenship status, creates serious health and social concerns. A recent Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Report characterized the situation at the southern border as "an acute and worsening crisis" and raises serious concerns about overcrowding and prolonged detention of unaccompanied children and families in some U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities.  Congress must act immediately to ensure all federal detention facilities comply with federal law and standards required for operation. Federal agencies responsible for migrant detention and processing must adequately protect children and families and judiciously process immigration claims.

I also urge you to take the necessary steps to immediately stop any zero-tolerance policy that may result in harmful separation of undocumented children from their parents or family members. The separation of a child from their parent creates toxic stress and trauma that can have significant harm on a child's brain development. PTA believes family unity is a core principle of society and all children belong with their parents, family members or legal guardian. I urge you to seek the immediate reunification of families presently separated under current enforcement policy.

It is in the national interest to ensure all children, including undocumented children, have the opportunity to reach their full potential and become productive members of society. As a constituent and PTA member, I look forward to hearing what steps you will be taking as a Member of Congress to address the humanitarian crisis at the border affecting children.

Thank you.
Sincerely,

Your name and PTA

You can also follow this link to complete a simple form and directly find and contact your Senators and Representatives in Washington DC: https://www.pta.org/home/advocacy/take-action
NOTE: Your Senator/Representative may have a character limit for emails submitted through this form. If so, you will be notified that your email is “too long” and you can fix this by deleting a few sentences in the auto-populated email copy provided.

In this together for ALL children,
Kristina Wilmoth
Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy
KristinaW@mopta.org


National PTA and Families Applaud House FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (May 8, 2019)—National PTA issued the following statement on the appropriations bill passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives that would fund labor, health and human services and education programs for Fiscal Year 2020. The statement can be attributed to National PTA President Jim Accomando:

“National PTA and families applaud the funding increase included in the bill for public education, as well as the dedication of $15 million for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program. Opportunity starts and ends with access to a great education and family engagement is essential to student success and school improvement efforts, which include efforts to make our schools safer. Federal investment in public education and family engagement are critical to ensure every child receives a high-quality education in an environment that is safe and reaches their full potential.

“National PTA and families are also pleased to see the increases in funding in the bill for Title I, Title IV-A and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These programs help ensure our nation’s students have the supports they need to succeed in school as well as receive well-rounded educational opportunities, learn in healthy and safe school environments and have opportunities to use technology in the classroom.

“Additionally, National PTA and families are pleased to see the language included in the bill that clarifies that federal funds cannot be used to purchase firearms or provide firearm training for educators. This language ensures critical resources are not diverted away from essential student support services to put guns in schools. Further, the bill allocates $50 million to support firearm injury and mortality prevention research, with the potential to identify interventions that will save hundreds of thousands of lives.

“For years, PTA members and families nationwide have been advocating for investments in public education, family engagement and programs that ensure all children can learn and thrive in school and beyond. We commend the House Appropriations Committee for acknowledging and addressing the importance of public education, family engagement and these programs, and we urge Congress to raise the budget caps and pass a funding bill that provides critical resources for students, families and schools.”

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.


JC/DC Action Alert: HB 548

JC/DC ACTION ALERT: Tax Bill

Please contact your Representative now and ask them to OPPOSE this Wayfair Fix tax bill!

HB548 has been placed on the House calendar and will be debated April 16th.

**ACTION NEEDED: PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL** and urge your State Representative to oppose the Wayfair Fix tax bill.

Tax Bill Would Cost MO $74 Million in 1st Year, Divert Education Funding, and Bar Cities and Counties from Collecting Online Sales Taxes Owed to Them

Although certain provisions of House Committee Substitute for House Bill 548 (HB 548) would close an ongoing tax loophole, the remainder of the bill would make Missouri’s tax structure more unfair for most Missourians, shortchange education funding, and jeopardize the resources our communities need to prosper. The bill would cost Missouri $74 million in just the first full tax year of implementation.

Our partners at the Budget Project have provided the following analysis for this potentially damaging bill:

The House Committee Substitute for House Bill 548 (HB 548) would:

  • Implement the components of the “Wayfair Fix,” allowing Missouri to collect sales taxes owed on online retail purchases just like the state does for purchases at local retailers. 
  • Endanger public services while directing an additional tax cut to Missouri’s wealthiest. The bill would cut the top rate of income tax by 0.14 in the first year of implementation, followed by additional reductions in the income tax rate that would be triggered by growth in sales tax revenue. The cost of the income tax reductions far outweigh the benefit of Wayfair.
  • Shortchange pre-K to 12 education funding by diverting currently earmarked sales taxes for education. Earmarked sales taxes that would be collected under the “Wayfair Fix” would be designated as general revenue, reducing education funding over time as e-commerce grows.
  • Limit the ability of cities and counties to collect taxes due for online retail purchases, even if those localities already have a “use tax.”

 

HB 548 Letter:

Dear Representative,

Missouri’s tax code is unfair to most Missourians, and is causing a budget crisis. Missouri is facing more than $500M in additional tax cuts that haven’t been implemented yet. Our current budget situation is volatile, at best, and any changes in tax policy should help us meet current needs and not stop us from correcting issues when they arise. House Bill 548 would make the volatility more severe. Increases in General Revenue should be used to address current budget needs and not irresponsibly wasted on new loopholes or giveaways. This bill will Shortchange pre-K to 12 education funding by diverting currently earmarked sales taxes for education. Earmarked sales taxes that would be collected under the “Wayfair Fix” would be designated as general revenue, reducing education funding over time as e-commerce grows. As a community we prioritize the education standards of our kids and oppose any measure that would divert funds from public education. Please oppose HB 548 and instead support a clean version of the “Wayfair Fix” (See our quick summary of the Wayfair Fix here: http://www.mobudget.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Wayfair-Fact-Sheet-April-2019.pdf

Sincerely,

Your name and PTA

Not sure how to contact your state legislators? Click here and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.

Carla Wiese

President Elect, Missouri PTA

carlaw@mopta.org

 


JC/DC Action Alert: SB 292

JC/DC ACTION ALERT: Charter School Expansion

Please contact your Senators now and ask them to OPPOSE this Charter School Expansion Bill!

SB292 will be placed on the Senate calendar and will be debated by the Senate tomorrow.

**ACTION NEEDED: PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL** and urge your State Senators to oppose the charter school expansion bills.

National and Missouri PTA do recognize and support charter schools when they are public and have to meet all the same evaluation standards that a non-charter public schools must meet. However, Missouri PTA opposes these bills based on the fact that it is allowing the charter schools to be sponsored by entities other than local Public School Board and expands their operation state-wide.

 SB 292 Letter:Dear Senator,

As a community we prioritize the education standards of our kids. We have evaluation standards that must be met for public schools to remain accredited.  SB 292 allows for the formation of charter schools in any district in the state. Under this bill, these schools could be controlled by non-public organizations and sponsored by outside entities. These schools would not have to be held to the same evaluation standards non-charter public schools are held. This would allow for the potential for children to not have the quality of education they receive in Missouri public schools. Missouri PTA is not against charter schools when they are under the control nonprofit organizations not affiliated with non-public sectarian, religious, or home-based school organizations of the local school district with the same standards as public schools. SB 292 fails to meet this requirement.

Please oppose SB 292.

Sincerely,

Your name and PTA

Not sure how to contact your state legislators? Click here  and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.

Kristina Wilmoth
Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy
KristinaW@mopta.org