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


JC/DC ACTION ALERT: Charter School Expansion

Please contact your Senators and House Representatives now and ask them to OPPOSE these Charter School Expansion Bills!

SB 292 will be placed on the Senate calendar and could be taken up soon by the Senate.

HB 581 could also soon be on the House calendar and would also allow charter schools to be sponsored by outside entities other than a local school board and operate in districts state-wide.

**ACTION NEEDED: PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL** and urge your State Senators and State Representatives 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.

HB 581 Letter:

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 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. HB 581 fails to meet this requirement.

Please oppose HB 581.

 Sincerely,

Your name and PTA

 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: the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program

**We believe that SB 160 will be brought to the Senate floor for debate in the next few days!!**

**Please contact your Senator NOW!**

SB 160 will be brought to the Senate Floor for debate and even with revisions, this bill stands to hurt Missouri’s public schools, students in the most need, and cost districts money.

SB 160 would establish the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program.  The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program is a particular concern for PTA because this program would create an account that would allow taxpayers to make a qualifying contribution to an educational assistance organization and claim a tax credit, as described in the act. The tax credit is for one hundred percent of the amount of the contribution. The tax credit may be carried forward for four years and may be transferred, sold, or assigned. The scholarships will be used in private schools effectively creating a voucher system in Missouri.

Missouri PTA encourages you to send emails to your State Senator to let them know your feelings on this bill.

***

Dear Senator,

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.  This bill is not about seeking quality education for students. This bill is not about choice but about killing public education as we know it, with no assurances that education will be delivered at all. 

Lack of financial oversight of the schools receiving the funds. There is no accountability required of the schools receiving these funds.  These entities are not required to be located in Missouri or governed by Missouri residents.  These entities can be for-profit institutions created solely to earn money off of the backs of Missouri students.  They could be fly-by-night organizations that deliver no actual education, but profit at the expense of Missouri taxpayers.

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 160 by voting no.

Sincerely,

Your name and PTA

***

Contact your State Senator and tell them to oppose SB 160 because school vouchers are not beneficial for Missouri’s children or our communities!

For all of our children,

Kristina Wilmoth
Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy
Missouri PTA


JC/DC Action Alert: HB 478 PLACED ON CALENDAR FOR COMMITTEE HEARING Please Contact the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee now!

HB 478 has been placed on the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee for 2/12/19.

HB 478 would establish the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program.

The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program is a particular concern for PTA because this program would create an account that would allow taxpayers to make a qualifying contribution to an educational assistance organization and claim a tax credit, as described in the act. The tax credit is for one hundred percent of the amount of the contribution. The tax credit may be carried forward for four years and may be transferred, sold, or assigned. The scholarships will be used in private schools effectively creating a voucher system in Missouri.

Missouri PTA encourages you to send emails the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee to let them know your feelings on this bill.

Dear Representatives,

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

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. This bill is not about seeking quality education for students. This bill is not about choice but about killing public education as we know it, with no assurances that education will be delivered at all.

Lack of financial oversight of the schools receiving the funds. There is no accountability required of the schools receiving these funds. These entities are not required to be located in Missouri or governed by Missouri residents. These entities can be for-profit institutions created solely to earn money off of the backs of Missouri students. They could be fly-by-night organizations that deliver no actual education, but profit at the expense of Missouri taxpayers.

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 HB 278 by voting no.

Sincerely,

You name and PTA

Not sure how to contact the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee? Click here: https://www.house.mo.gov/committees.aspx?cluster=true&category=all&committee=2023

Kristina Wilmoth
Vice President of Legislation and Advocacy
Missouri PTA