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


JC/DC CRITICAL ACTION ALERT: SB 528

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Tell Your House Representative to vote NO to SB 528!

 

SB 528 transforms Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP) into virtual charter schools.
These schools lack oversight and accountability and can be run by out-of-state, for-profit companies and entities without any accountability for providing quality education.  Furthermore, they do not have to prohibit discrimination or ensure equal access to education for all children.   Under SB 528, vendors would not be required to accept all students and could expel students that are “too difficult to educate”.  Vendors also do not provide the same services that public education provides students including healthy lunches and mental health counseling, yet they will receive the same state aid.  

Missouri PTA does not support SB 528.  Missouri PTA is opposed to the lack of transparency, oversight, and lack of accountability in education for all children while diverting funding from the public education.  

Tell your House Representative to say NO to SB 528 and to any other “combination education bill” that removes accountability, transparency, and accessibility to quality education for all children or that diverts funding for public education.  This hurts Missouri children and public education!

ACTION NEEDED: PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL and urge your State Representative to oppose SB 528

Dear Representative,

SB 528 transforms Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP) into virtual charter schools.
These schools lack oversight and accountability and can be run by out-of-state, for-profit companies and entities without any accountability for providing quality education.  Furthermore, they do not have to prohibit discrimination or ensure equal access to education for all children.   Under SB 528, vendors would not be required to accept all students and could expel students that are “too difficult to educate”.  Vendors also do not provide the same services that public education provides students including healthy lunches and mental health counseling, yet they will receive the same state aid.  

As a parent, I do not support SB 528.  I am opposed to the lack of transparency, oversight, and lack of accountability in education for all children while diverting funding from the public education.  

Please vote NO to SB 528 and to any other “combination education bill” that removes accountability, transparency, and accessibility to quality education for all children or that diverts funding for 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


JC/DC ACTION ALERT: April 28, 2020 Session Begins Again!

Dear Advocates for ALL children,

Missouri lawmakers were back in Jefferson City yesterday as they restarted the 2020 Legislative session!  This session, like most of our lives, has been on “pause” as we all navigate the COVID-19 version of our lives.  The first and utmost priority for Missouri lawmakers will be the budget for fiscal year 2020 that begins July 1st. The House budget plan released Saturday includes no cuts to the K-12 foundation formula but it does present a $17 million cut to student transportation.

Many bills in the House and Senate are “scheduled” to be heard as the legislation session resumes.  It is not completely clear to us what may or may not be heard as this session continues.  Your Missouri PTA Legislative Team wants to remind all fellow public education advocates of our priorities and watch list.  It is still vital that we keep these bills visible as their underlying purposes concern public education.

The following House Bills are on the schedule or have recent activity:

HB 1483 We support

HB 1568 We support

HB 1682 We support

HB 1733 We oppose

HB 1808 We support

HB 2068 We oppose

HB 2317 We support

The following Senate Bills are on the schedule or have recent activity:

SB 525 We oppose

SB 581 We oppose

SB 590 We support

SB 640 We oppose

SB 649 We oppose

SB 764 We support

SB 802 We support

SB 885 We support

Continue to watch your email for updates via JCDC Action Alerts and follow Missouri PTA on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with budget and legislative news.  We will work to keep you informed!

In this together for ALL children,

Kristina Wilmoth

VP & Director of Legislation and Advocacy

Missouri PTA