JC/DC ACTION ALERT:  Charter Schools ****VOTE SOON*** Please contact the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education!

 

HB 634 is in committee and will come for a committee vote soon.  

HB 634 would allow charter schools to operate in any school district in the state.

National and Missouri PTA does 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 this bill based on the fact that it is allowing the charter schools to be affiliated with non-public organizations and that currently the evaluation for charter schools still does not meet or exceed the expectations of non-charter public schools.

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 634 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. 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 634 fails to meet this requirement.

Please vote no on HB 634.

 

Sincerely,

You name and PTA

Not sure how to contact the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education? Click here.


Carla Wiese

Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy

carlaw@mopta.org


DeVos HELP Confirmation Vote Tomorrow 1/31

PTA Leaders,

 

As you may know, tomorrow January 31, 2017 the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination of U.S Secretary of Education-designee Betsy DeVos.  The Committee is holding an executive session beginning at 10:00am ET and Ms. DeVos’ nomination is on the agenda for consideration.  You can watch the committee meeting via livestream.

 

Additionally, I would like to share with you the statements and letters National PTA has either issued or signed onto:

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

Jacki Ball | Director, Government Affairs

National PTA®

1250 N. Pitt Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

P: (703) 518-1243 | C: (703) 405-5206

jball@pta.org www.pta.org @balljacki


JC/DC ACTION ALERT: SB 32 – MO Empowerment Scholarships Account Program

****COMMITTEE VOTE SOON*** Please CALL your Senators now!

 

SB 32 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 may 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 CALL your Senators office now and let them know your feelings on this bill.

 

When you call here are some talking points to discuss with their office:

 

Begin the call by thanking them for their time; give them your name and PTA Unit.

 

The Empowerment Scholarship Account 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 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 these organizations could be for- profit institutions designed to take money directly from school students that could deliver no education but profit at the expense of Missouri taxpayers.
  • Expands education beyond the age of 21as long as the student has not completed high school.

 

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.  Please vote NO on SB 32.

 

Take a few moments to call now public education in Missouri depends on it!!

 

Thank you,

Carla Wiese

VP and Director of Legislation and Advocacy

Missouri PTA

 

 


JC/DC ACTION ALERT: MO Empowerment Scholarships Account Program

****HEARING TODAY*** Please contact your Senators now!
SB 32 has been placed on the Senate calendar.
SB 32 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 may 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 Senators but also to directly call their office and let them know your feelings on this bill.
Dear Senators,
The Empowerment Scholarship Account 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. The Governor indicated in his State of the State address that he is opposed to the expansion of tax credits, particularly given the shortfalls in the budget. Every tax dollar the state loses through a tax credit reduces the treasury further. This bill would allow for $25 million less per year, when approximately $9 million was withheld from K-12 a mere two weeks ago.
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 32 by voting no.
Sincerely,
You 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
Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy
carlaw@mopta.org


JC/DC Alert: Family Engagement Center Funding

Family Engagement Centers – The newly enacted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) includes the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program, which provides competitive federal grants to statewide organizations to promote and implement evidenced-based family engagement strategies. If the SFEC program is funded, applications for these competitive grants can be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by statewide organizations such as non-profits or by groups of statewide organizations that have demonstrated involvement in engaging families in their child’s education and experience working with state-level agencies, communities, organizations and schools on family engagement policies and practices. Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate included this important line item in their annual budget. It is not to late to have this key item funded but to accomplish our request we need to make our voices heard. PTA is asking Congress to Pass the 2017 Omnibus bill that would fully fund these important centers.  Please take a few moments to send a letter to our members of Congress. You can quickly send your letter by clicking here.

 

Thank you,

Carla Wiese

VP and Director of Legislation and Advocacy