JC/DC ACTION ALERT: Open Enrollment in Missouri Public Education

Missouri PTA needs you to contact your Representatives now and ask your Representative to VOTE NO on HB1814 Open Enrollment Bill

 

Missouri PTA is opposed to HB1814

 

House Bill 1814 creates open enrollment throughout Missouri and it could be heard in the House as soon as Monday.

Missouri PTA is concerned about this bill’s negative impact on school consolidation, special education and school finances. PTA believes that any changes in school structure or funding should be measured by the likely outcomes for all children in accord with the obligation to prepare all children to become effective, productive adult citizens.

Missouri PTA advocates are called upon to ensure your Representatives 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 Representative to oppose HB1814 

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

Dear Representative,

I am writing today to add my voice with the dozens of parents and educators who express opposition to HB1814.  

The open enrollment policy created in this bill will harm Missouri students, schools, and communities.  This legislation could lead to school consolidation across the state making it more difficult to serve Missouri’s most vulnerable students.  It will also lead to many districts struggling to maintain educational programs they offer such as choir, band, and athletic programs.

Missouri PTA and other public school advocates are opposed to bills that will pit school districts against each other to compete for students and the funds associated with them. Funding that would normally go toward student learning would be spent on recruiting and competing with neighboring districts.

HB1814 allows districts that engage in open enrollment to discriminate against special education students, denying their participation in the program based on their needs.

The focus should be on supporting and improving our schools and all populations rather than tearing them apart. The focus needs to turn to supporting and building stronger schools in each of our communities. Each community is unique and to say that open enrollment would benefit all students is misleading and grossly misunderstood. However, the impact will be felt by all due to the financial hardship it will cause for districts.

I strongly encourage you to oppose HB1814 and vote against this legislation. 

Sincerely,

Your Name and PTA

Not sure how to contact your legislators? Click Here and enter your street address or zip code. 

Paula McKinney
Vice President of Legislation and Advocacy 
Missouri PTA

Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy

paulam@mopta.org

 


Take Action: Urge Congress to Participate in Public Schools Week!

Each year, communities across the United States come together for Public Schools Week to celebrate the importance of our nation’s public schools. This school year there are about 98,000 public schools in the United States serving over 50 million students! National PTA thanks all of our public school administrators, teachers, teacher assistants, specialists, nutrition staff, health professionals, bus drivers and all other key staff that keep our public schools running, especially during this pandemic.

Public schools are open to every child regardless of ability, wealth, country of origin, or needs, and by supporting public school systems we strengthen our country. Join us in urging Congress to designate the week of February 21 through February 25, 2022 as “Public Schools Week” by co-sponsoring the annual, bipartisan, bicameral Public Schools Week Resolution.

In addition, we are encouraging all PTA members to invite their elected representatives to visit their local public school during Public Schools Week to showcase some of the exemplary work of all public school staff and honor our nation’s commitment to public education.

Before you begin coordinating a school visit, check out National PTA’s Hosting a Site Visit for a Decisionmaker webpage where you can find resources for:

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/JYn4F2SZzLttbP0DJ72Qdw


Take Action: Urge Congress to Prioritize the Mental Health of Students by Passing the STANDUP Act

At the beginning of the school year, due to the continuing pandemic, families focused on their children’s safe return to class. However, this pandemic has exacerbated a crisis that existed prior. Across the country, local emergency departments are recording dramatic increases in all mental health emergencies, including suspected suicide attempts. Our country is currently witnessing soaring rates of mental health challenges among our children and it is inextricably tied to the stress brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Childhood mental health concerns and suicide rates have steadily risen in the last decade. By 2018, suicide became the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Children’s Hospital Association have officially declared a national emergency in children and adolescent mental health. Additionally, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory report to highlight the current youth mental health crisis in correlation with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention Act (STANDUP Act) is the first federal legislation providing uniform research-based suicide prevention and awareness standards in schools to address the mental health needs of students. The bill currently has 46 bipartisan sponsors (38 Democrats and 8 Republicans).

 

PTA calls on Congress and the Administration to immediately address the many factors that contribute to the mental health crisis in the United States. Our association strongly encourages efforts that establish comprehensive community mental health. In addition, our organization supports all programs and projects that educate and inform parents, students and the general public about youth suicide prevention and support services for survivors of a suicide attempt.

 

The STANDUP Act has already passed in the Senate. Now it is the House of Representatives’ turn to cast the final vote! Take action today and urge your representative to vote to prioritize youth suicide prevention and vote “Yes” on the STANDUP Act!