JC/DC: HB 349

JC/DC ACTION ALERT:  We OPPOSE Establishing Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program

HB 349 

Missouri PTA is opposed to bills establishing the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program 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.  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.  

Time sensitive action needed!  Please Tell your representative to support public education and vote NO on HB349

Dear Representatives,

The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program is not good for students and parents, taxpayers and Missouri’s public schools.

As your constituent and voter, I urge you to oppose HB349.  This proposed bill will create an unchecked new tax credit program in Missouri that would allow public dollars to be used for private education, without accountability to Missouri students, parents and taxpayers.  This program creates further government bureaucracy taking vital education dollars out of Missouri’s public schools that educate all students and strengthen communities.  

HB349 would allow any taxpayer who makes a qualifying contribution to the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program to claim a tax credit equal to 50 percent of the total contribution. The tax credit voucher program would begin at $50 million per year and includes an escalator that would grow the program unchecked with no oversight by the Missouri General Assembly.  

This new voucher program would allow for the creation of nonprofit organizations that would be allowed to defer state tax dollars that would normally go to the education of all students, steering resources away from the classroom toward bureaucratic administration. 

HB349 would allow for the vouchers to be used for a number of services, including private school tuition, textbooks, tutoring services and summer education programs with no accountability or oversight from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This new program would be overseen by the State Treasurer who is given very few tools to ensure that the programs are contributing to the success of Missouri students.

This legislation would impact every district in the state by limiting the amount of state revenue available to fund public education that serves all students across the state. Public tax dollars used to support all students’ needs including mental health access, classroom supports, and highly qualified teachers must be a priority for the legislature before creating programs that would defer money away from public education.

As your constituent I believe that all students deserve equal access to a free public education. The continuation of our free nation and its strength and well-being depend on our free public schools.

Vote NO on HB349.

I appreciate you considering this information as you work to support Missouri’s students, families and communities.

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.

Paula McKinney
Vice President of Legislation and Advocacy 
Missouri PTA

Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy

paulam@mopta.org


JC/DC Urgent Action Needed!!

SB 55 Harmful Education Bill is scheduled to be debated and voted on next week.

Missouri PTA needs you to contact your Senator today and tell them to support PUBLIC SCHOOLS and vote NO on this combined Voucher and Charter Mega Bill with no local control or oversight.

Vouchers Bills are written to give school vouchers to all students to attend private schools. These bills pay for those 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 because they divert funding from public education and lack oversight and accountability that public schools offer to all students.

Charter School Expansion Bills work to expand Charter schools without ensuring that those schools are held accountable and run by a board of locally elected individuals and NOT private companies with their own agenda.  Missouri PTA opposes expansion of Charter Schools without public accountability, inequitable enrollment practices, and unaddressed performance issues.  

Missouri PTA advocates are called to ensure your senators understand that you are paying attention and that these issues are important to you!

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 educational standards for all children. We have evaluation standards that must be met for public schools to remain accredited and we oppose efforts to divert funding from public education.  Those standards continue to provide accountability for our schools, quality education for all children, and access to education no matter the ability or situation a child may experience.  That standard is now at risk as this bill is being called to the Senate Floor.  As an advocate for ALL Missouri children, I am opposed to this bill as it works to remove that accountability for schools and the equity of access to a quality education for students.

 SB 55 is a mega bill with a long list of provisions hostile to public education. 

The bill now includes –

  • School Board Member Recall: Requires an election to recall a school board member if a petition is submitted signed by at least 25% of the number of voters in the last school board election.
  • Education Scholarship Account/Vouchers: Creates up to $100 million in tax credits for donations to an organization that gives out scholarships for students to attend a home school or private school – including for-profit virtual schools.
  • Charter School Expansion: Authorizes charter schools to be opened in an additional 61 school districts located in Jackson, Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis counties or in cities of 30,000 or more and allows charters opened in provisionally and unaccredited districts to remain open even after the school district regains accreditation.
  • Turning MOCAP into Virtual Charter Schools: Allows students enrolling in MOCAP full time to apply directly to the vendor and cuts the resident school district and professional educators out of the process.
  • Home school students are allowed to participate in MSHSAA activities. Districts are prohibited from belonging to MSHSAA unless home schooled students are allowed to participate in district athletics and activities governed by MSHSAA.
  • Limiting State Board of Education: Restricts members of the state board of education to serve only one full term.”

Please support our children and our public schools by OPPOSING SB 55!

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.

Paula McKinney
Vice President of Legislation and Advocacy 
Missouri PTA


JC/DC Action Alert: SB 55

JC/DC Alert for immediate action for a COMBINED Voucher & Charter bill is being pushed through the Senate and voted out of Committee.

SB 55 provides NO local control, NO oversight, and diverts public school funding! 

Vouchers Bills are written to give school vouchers to all students to attend private schools. These bills pay for those 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 because they divert funding from public education and lack oversight and accountability that public schools offer to all students.

Charter School Expansion Bills work to expand Charter schools without ensuring that those schools are held accountable and run by a board of locally elected individuals and NOT private companies with their own agenda.  Missouri PTA opposes expansion of Charter Schools without public accountability, inequitable enrollment practices, and unaddressed performance issues.  

Missouri PTA needs you to contact your Senator today and tell them to support PUBLIC SCHOOLS and vote NO on this combined Voucher and Charter Mega Bill with no local control or oversight.

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 educational standards for all children. We have evaluation standards that must be met for public schools to remain accredited and we oppose efforts to divert funding from public education.  Those standards continue to provide accountability for our schools, quality education for all children, and access to education no matter the ability or situation a child may experience.  That standard is now at risk as this bill is being called to the Senate Floor.  As an advocate for ALL Missouri children, I am opposed to this bill as it works to remove that accountability for schools and the equity of access to a quality education for students.

 SB 55 is a mega bill with a long list of provisions hostile to public education. 

The bill now includes –

  • School Board Member Recall: Requires an election to recall a school board member if a petition is submitted signed by at least 25% of the number of voters in the last school board election.
  • Education Scholarship Account/Vouchers: Creates up to $100 million in tax credits for donations to an organization that gives out scholarships for students to attend a home school or private school – including for-profit virtual schools.
  • Charter School Expansion: Authorizes charter schools to be opened in an additional 61 school districts located in Jackson, Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis counties or in cities of 30,000 or more and allows charters opened in provisionally and unaccredited districts to remain open even after the school district regains accreditation.
  • Turning MOCAP into Virtual Charter Schools: Allows students enrolling in MOCAP full time to apply directly to the vendor and cuts the resident school district and professional educators out of the process.
  • Home school students are allowed to participate in MSHSAA activities. Districts are prohibited from belonging to MSHSAA unless home schooled students are allowed to participate in district athletics and activities governed by MSHSAA.
  • Limiting State Board of Education: Restricts members of the state board of education to serve only one full term.”

Please support our children and our public schools by OPPOSING SB 55!

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.

Paula McKinney
Vice President of Legislation and Advocacy 
Missouri PTA


JC/DC Action Alert: Schools Need Resources Now

It is imperative that Congress acts now to come to an agreement on a COVID relief package. Despite the record-breaking numbers for new COVID-19 cases each day, public schools continue to do the hard work to deliver education in virtual and in‐person settings.

There are numerous critical needs that children, families, educators and public schools are facing which must be addressed in the next COVID relief package.

National PTA continues to ask Congress to address five key areas:
1) funding to reopen schools safely,
2) increased support for Title I and IDEA,
3) dedicated funding for remote learning,
4) more resources for family engagement in education, and
5) increased funding for child nutrition programs.

Public schools need resources now!

Please contact your Members of Congress today and ask them to provide the critical funding needed to reopen schools.

Click the link below to go to National PTA website –
Take Action: Schools Need Resources Now!

Paula McKinney
Vice President and Director of Legislation and Advocacy
paulam@mopta.org


JC/DC CRITICAL ACTION ALERT HB 1540

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Tell Your Senator say NO to this omnibus bill!

(An omnibus bill is a bill that combines several bills that do not have to be related in an effort to get the maximum number of bills voted upon at the end of session. Often these bills are hundreds of pages long lending themselves to votes without full understanding of what is in each.)

HB 1540 is another last-minute omnibus bill that will hurt public education and is bad for students!

This bill expands Missouri’s 529 college savings plans allowing for tax-free contributions to be used for K-12 private school fees and costs.  This diverts tax dollars from public education to private and parochial schools that lack oversight and accountability and can be run by out-of-state, for-profit companies and entities without any accountability for providing quality education.  Missouri PTA strongly believes the intent of this bill is to create virtual charter schools without oversight and accountability that the public school system requires.

Tell your Senator to say NO to HB 1540 and to any other omnibus education bill that removes accountability, transparency, and accessibility to quality education for all children or that diverts funding from public education.  This hurts Missouri children and public education!

ACTION NEEDED: PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL and urge your State Senator to oppose HB 1540!

Dear Senator _____,

HB 1540 is another last-minute combination education bill that would hurt public education and is bad for students like my child!

As a parent and a member of Missouri PTA, I’m concerned that this bill expands Missouri’s 529 college savings plans allowing for tax-free contributions to be used for K-12 private school fees and costs.  This diverts tax dollars from public education to private and parochial schools that lack oversight and accountability and can be run by out-of-state, for-profit companies and entities without any accountability for providing quality education.  

Please vote, “NO” to HB 1540 and to any other omnibus education bill that removes accountability, transparency, and accessibility to quality education for all children or that diverts funding from public education.  This hurts Missouri children and public education!

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