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


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


JC/DC Action Alert: HB 581

**The House version of the charter school expansion bill, HB 581, filed by Representative Rebecca Roeber (R – Lee’s Summit) is scheduled to be debated in the House tomorrow, March 6!**  It’s time to contact your Representative NOW and ask them to oppose this charter school expansion bill.

HB 581would allow charter schools to be sponsored by outside entities other than a local school board and operate in districts state-wide.

**ACTION NEEDED TODAY: PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL** and urge your State Representatives to oppose this charter school expansion bill.

National and Missouri PTA do recognize and support charter schoolswhen 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.

HB 581Letter:

Dear Representative,

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. HB 581 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 controlnonprofit organizations not affiliated with non-public sectarian, religious, or home-based school organizationsof the local school district with the same standards as public schools. HB 581 fails to meet this requirement.

Please oppose HB 581.

Sincerely,

Your name and PTA


JC/DC ACTION ALERT: Voucher Tax Credits & Charter School Expansion

Time sensitive action needed!  Please contact your Senators and House Representatives now and ask them to OPPOSE SB 160 & SB 292!

Missouri PTA is opposed to SB 160 (voucher tax credits) and SB 292(expand Charter Schools in Missouri without proper oversight or accountability).  We have been informed that it is likely either SB 160 or SB 292 will be brought to the Senate floor for debate this week.  Senator Caleb Rowden (R – Columbia), the Majority Floor Leader of the Senate, confirmed that either voucher tax credits or charter expansion would be debated this week!

If you have already emailed your Senators, THANK YOU!  Now, we need for you to connect once again!  Missouri PTA advocates are called to continue to follow-up with their senators even after they have voiced opposition.  Make sure your senators understand that you are paying attention and that these issues are important to you!

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

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.

SB 160 – The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program – is not good for students and parents, taxpayers and Missouri’s public schools for the following reasons:

It is an irresponsible expansion of tax credits when the state is facing massive shortfalls in the current budget.

This is a voucher in a bad disguise.  This bill attempts to funnel public funds to private schools and home schools.  It also allows these funds to be spent on for-profit schools, including virtual schools, with no oversight.

Lack of financial oversight of the schools receiving the funds. There is no accountability required of the schools receiving these funds.

Lack of educational oversight of the schools receiving the funds. These schools are not required to administer the MAP, identify or educate students with disabilities, or be accredited by any organization.   Missouri tax dollars will be spent for students to be taught by teachers without certification or the specialized knowledge to identify learning disabilities, dyslexia, etc.   The teachers and education providers receiving the funds are not even required to undergo a criminal background check.  Missouri tax dollars could be spent on services and therapies that are not educationally sound.  The bill states that a school “shall not be required to alter its creed, practices, admissions policy, or curriculum in order to accept students” under a scholarship, which means students with disabilities could be denied enrollment and students with disabilities can be refused specialized education.  Schools could deny enrollment based on economic status or grades.

Expands education beyond the age of 21.  Unlike free public education, which expires once the student turns 21 or graduates high school, parents and students may continue to receive these scholarships indefinitely as long as the student does not complete high school or passes a test for admission to college. 166.705.2

 

Please oppose SB 292 and SB 160 by voting no.

 

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