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


National PTA Applauds Enactment of Spending Bills

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Dec. 21, 2019)—National PTA President Leslie Boggs issued the following statement on the signing of the spending bills last night by President Trump:

“National PTA applauds Congress and the administration for coming together to enact two bills that fund the government through fiscal year 2020 and avoid a shutdown. We also commend Congress for including in the bills a $4.9 billion increase for labor, health and human services and education programs as well as providing funding for some of National PTA’s key priorities. For years, we have urged Congress to prioritize students, families and schools and make investments in programs that make a difference for the education, health, safety, well-being and success of every child.

“Among National PTA’s key priorities, the bills allot $25 million for research into firearm injury and mortality prevention. The bills also dedicate $10 million for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program. Additionally, the bills include funding increases for Head Start, Child Care Development Block Grants, Student Support and Academic Enrichment State Grants, Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Further, the bills provide over $23 billion for child nutrition programs.

“These programs help ensure that all students have the supports they need to succeed in school as well as receive well-rounded educational opportunities and learn in healthy and safe environments. The investments in these programs are critical to ensure every child reaches their full potential and for the long-term success of our country. We commend Congress for acknowledging the importance of these programs for students, families, schools and our nation.”

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.