JC/DC ACTION ALERT: SB 581 Voucher Tax Credits & “Scholarship” Program

Time sensitive action needed!  Please contact your Senator now and ask them to OPPOSE SB581!

Missouri PTA is opposed to SB 581 sponsored by Senator Mike Cierpiot.  This Bill is known as the “Show Me a Brighter Future Scholarship Program” and gives school vouchers to low-income students to attend private schools. The bill pays for the scholarships by offering tax credits to people or corporations that make contributions to the scholarship fund.  Missouri PTA and other public-school advocates are opposed to voucher programs as they divert funding from public education and lack oversight and accountability that public schools offer to all students.

Missouri PTA advocates are called to ensure 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 to oppose SB 581 and all voucher programs that lack oversight, accountability, and divert public education funding!

MOPTA Advocates are invited to utilize the letter below to guide your calls, emails, and social media contact with your lawmaker(s).

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 and we oppose efforts to divert funding from public education. 

 SB 581 gives school vouchers to low-income students to attend private schools and pays for the scholarships by offering tax credits to people or corporations that make contributions to the scholarship fund.  Missouri PTA and other public-school advocates are opposed to voucher programs as they divert funding from public education and lack oversight and accountability that public schools offer to all students. 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 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. 

SB 581Show Me a Brighter Future Scholarship Act” is not good for students and parents, taxpayers and Missouri’s public schools and is a voucher in a bad disguise.  This bill attempts to funnel public funds to private schools that lack of financial and educational oversight.

Please support our children and our public schools by OPPOSING SB 581!

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


Missouri PTA JC/DC ACTION ALERT HB 1568

HB 1568 defines “restraint” and “seclusion” and requires school districts to include a policy of prohibition on the use of restraint or seclusion for any purpose other than the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff members.

PTA believes all students need to be educated in environments which are supportive and free from abuse, assault, injury, trauma and risk to life.  We promote the prevention of the use of inappropriate restraint and seclusion methods by untrained school personnel and believe the use of seclusion must include constant direct monitoring of the welfare of the student, including the ability for immediate intervention.  Facilities used for seclusion must allow self-egress in case of emergencies, must comply with life safety codes for confinement, and must be designed to keep children safe.

Missouri PTA and its constituent associations support legislation, regulations, policies, and programs that emphasize the use of positive or non-aversive interventions thereby limiting the use of restraint and seclusion on students and believe that the use of restraint and seclusion practices should only be used as a last resort in emergency situations, not as a substitute for comprehensive school-wide supports and accommodations.

Missouri PTA is monitoring HB 1568 as it was “continued” this week and expected to be on the floor soon.  Now is the time to contact members of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and tell them you support legislation that educates our students in a safe and supportive environment.  Social media is another tool MOPTA advocates can utilize. Below, you will find example tweets/social media posts with the appropriate tagging information for the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee members.  

Missouri PTA encourages our SEPTA’s, Units, Councils, and membership to join us as we follow this House Bill process.  

 

In this together for ALL children,


Kristina Wilmoth

Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy

KristinaW@mopta.org

 

Social Media Example:

I support legislation that educates Missouri children in a safe and supportive environment. I support #HB1568!  #MOPTAAdvocates @MissouriPTA 

Representatives on the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee are important to this bill.  You can tag the committee in social media posts using the following handles or links:

Representative Chuck Basye @ChuckBasye47 Facebook or  @ChuckBasye47 Twitter
Representative Dottie Bailey @DottieBaliey4Mo Facebook or @repDottieB4Mo Twitter
Representative Judy Morgan Facebook or @JudyM691 Twitter
Representative Ben Baker Facebook or @BenBakerMO Twitter
Representative Gretchen Bangert Facebook or @gretchenbangert Twitter
Representative Paula Brown Facebook or @MoRepPaulaBrown Twitter
Representative Phil Christofanelli @Phil4Mo Facebook or @PhilChristo Twitter
Representative Shamed Dogan @dogan4staterep Facebook or @dogan4rep Twitter
Representative Karla Eslinger Email only
Representative Michael O’Donnell @Odonnellformissouri Facebook
Representative Raychel Proudie @voteproud73 Facebook or @RCProudie Twitter
Representative Nick Schroer @SchroerMO Facebook or @nickbschroer Twitter
Representative Dan Stacy @DanStacy4Liberty Facebook or @repdanstacy Twitter


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


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