Anyone interested in seeing the myriad changes effected by the Missouri Legislature in the last session would do well to take a gander at the newest edition of the Missouri Bar Legislative Digest. They have done a terrific job of providing easy to understand summaries of the many, many bills passed earlier this year (with links to the full text if you really want to dig into the details). Additionally, they provide a handy index of bills by subject matter so that you can quickly see which bills will have the most impact on you. Pair this Missouri Bar resource with the list of the Governor’s actions on each of these bills, you will find yourself well prepared for the veto session that is scheduled to start on Wednesday.
If you take the time to get educated on only one issue, I would urge you to look up the facts on House Bill 253. This tax cut proposal, if Governor Nixon’s veto is overridden, is set to cut millions of dollars from education, mental health care, public works, and the legal system. Learn the facts and then contact your representative so that we continue to put the children of Missouri first.
This past legislative session introduced a small change to the child abuse and neglect mandatory reporting requirements that will effect all public education employees. Because this change comes so quickly on the heels of the much larger change to abuse and neglect reporting requirements that went into effect last year, I wanted to take a little time and do a combination introduction / refresher of reporting duties. We’ll go through the two separate reporting requirements in Missouri (you did know there were two requirements right??), talk about what some signs of abuse and neglect might be, and analyze what impact the change will have.
Hit the jump to stay updated… Continue reading
A non-profit, non-partisan Wisconsin think tank, the Forward Institute, has released a study on the impact of recent legislative changes to public schools. The report, full-text available here, actually has far-reaching implications because many of the changes that have occurred in Wisconsin are being pushed across the nation, including right here in Missouri. In particular, just this year Missouri had proposed legislation that would have given letter grades to schools and nearly every year some style of vouchers are proposed. Fortunately, as of yet Missouri has not faced the contraction of public education funding that Wisconsin has, but changes to Missouri’s tax structure and tax credits could seriously impact school budgets in the future.
Hit the jump for some of the “critical findings” from the report… Continue reading
A group of four current and former teachers, including one teacher of the year who is about to be inducted into the National Teacher Hall of Fame, have filed a lawsuit against a proposed amendment to the Missouri constitution that has been approved for the 2014 ballot. The ballot measure, number 2014-024, purports to enshrine teacher evaluation standards in the Missouri constitution. However, the individuals challenging the initiative claim that the proposed amendment goes far beyond mere evaluation standards, wrests control of schools away from local districts, and places huge financial burdens on every district in the state.
All the details after the jump… Continue reading
A retired financial industry executive and billionaire, Rex Sinquefield, has decided again to use his own personal fortune to attack the rights of middle-class teacher’s in Missouri. Perhaps best known for comparing public education to the KKK or attempting to remove Missouri’s income tax and replace it with a “Everything Tax” that would blow a huge hole in Missouri’s budget, Mr. Sinquefield has chosen this year as the one to remove the basic procedural work protections that are provided to teachers in Missouri. It’s time that we stop looking to hurt employees in Missouri and start looking for ways to make working conditions better for everyone. Mr. Sinquefield’s route is not the way.
Hit the jump for the complete news release on the proposed changes to the Missouri constitution… Continue reading