Accreditation As Soon As Possible (ASAP)
Current Missouri law provides only one avenue of action by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) when a school district becomes classified as unaccredited. In addition, due to a fixed timeframe, DESE may not take action for two full academic school years, which equates to nearly three calendar years. Missouri PTA believes every child must be provided with a well-rounded, high-quality education, which will ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Accreditation As Soon As Possible (ASAP) would allow DESE greater flexibility with regard to timing and restructuring when a school district becomes unaccredited. In addition, this change in the law would provide for public engagement related to the change in governance of unaccredited schools. Missouri PTA supports Accreditation As Soon As Possible legislation as outlined in the filed 2012 House Bill 1174 and Senate Bill 677.
Recently Mega Sales Tax, Consumption Tax or Everything Tax, initiative petitions have been filed in Missouri. These initiatives propose replacing our current state income tax structure with a state sales tax on goods and services. Due to the state’s decline in sales tax revenue over the past several years and economists predictions, this new tax structure would very likely result in a shortfall of over $2 billion dollars in revenue. Shortfalls to education funding would result in forcing local districts to raise property taxes thus shifting a greater burden of education funding from the state and directly onto local communities. Currently Missouri PTA under the Financing Education Resolution believes the state should be responsible for maintaining at least 50% of education funding. In addition, there are very few exemptions to the proposed tax structure. Tuition and fees for education is one of those exemptions thus providing a tax credit for individuals who enroll their children in nonpublic schools. Missouri PTA under the Resolution Tax Credits has long been opposed to any type of tax credit received by a parent or sponsor for nonpublic elementary or secondary education tuition. Finally, the proposed tax structure will tax food, currently exempt from state general sales tax, and no credits, rebates or allowances are offered for low-income families. National PTA has long held the belief that proper nutrition is a vital component to a healthy lifestyle, and holds the position that states should provide assistance to families when needed with regard to nutritional health.
Do to the nature of the proposed initiatives to constitutionally change the structure of our states general revenue income and the harmful effects that may result in the funding of education and general welfare of children, Missouri PTA is opposed to Consumption Tax Initiatives.