This week, possibly as early as today, the Missouri Senate is expected to debate SB 55, a bill that would profoundly impact public schools. Senate Bill 55 (sponsored by Republican Senator Cindy O’Laughlin) would direct funds away from public schools toward private and charter schools, expand the number of charter schools, and change the Missouri Course Access Program into a virtual charter school.
Call your state senator TODAY and demand a NO vote on SB 55! Senate bill 55 would create the following:
Charter School Expansion: Up to 61 more charter schools could be authorized in Missouri, including districts that are already recognized for their excellence.
Charter schools do not need an elected governing board. Board members are appointed and are not required to live in the state.
These schools drain funds away from the home district. Public schools have difficulty maintaining needed staff and facilities when students move to charter schools, but the public school must accept the students back if they decide to leave the charter school.
Charter schools can set requirements and programs and do not have to accept all students.
Education Scholarship Account/Vouchers: Tax credits would be issued for donations to a “scholarship fund” that could be used for attendance at private schools, for-profit virtual schools, or home schools.
Vouchers drain an already under-funded system of necessary revenue. It is estimated this bill would cost the state $100 million per year with an annual increase of 10%. Parents can currently divert taxable income into a 529 account that can be used for private schooling. An additional voucher program is completely unnecessary.
Vouchers do not lead to an increase in student performance. (Center for Tax and Budget Accountability)
Vouchers primarily assist those least in need. A higher percentage of students that use vouchers come from more affluent families.
State tax money is allowed to flow to schools with no accountability and no regulation to avoid discrimination.
Vouchers under this bill would create open districts, allowing a student to attend another school district.
Turning MOCAP into Virtual Charter Schools: For-profit virtual schools could be established and paid for with tax dollars.
Virtual schools could charge much more than the current cap, going beyond market expenses, profiting from school tax funds.
Virtual schools could simply disenroll under-performing students, sending them back to their local district
Other provisions include requiring all districts to allow home-schooled students to participate in MSHSAA activities, allowing school board members to be recalled, and limiting state board of education members to only one term.
Contact your state legislators TODAY about SB 55, covid, other issues of importance to you and be sure to sign up for their newsletter!
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Let your state lawmakers know if you or a loved one qualify for the covid vaccine but have been unable to obtain an appointment or experienced other obstacles to receiving the first dose.
Help protect the right to vote in Missouri with the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition!
The Missouri Voter Protection Coalition (MOVPC) is a nonpartisan statewide network working to protect the right to vote in Missouri, promoting access to the ballot and working to remove barriers to voting.
*Sign up for MOVPC's mailing list for information and links to join meetings: https://movpc.us4.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=90d5fdc569e873a58aff5887a&id=cf802f0c87 or by texting MOVPC to 66866
Join Zoom meeting TODAY MON FEB 8 at 10am to learn more about the campaign to Ensure Voting in Missouri Amid the COVID-19 Crisis and beyond.
MO COVID UPDATE
According to MO Dept of Health and Senior Services as of Sat Feb 6 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Missouri rose to 466,217 and the total number of confirmed deaths is 7,143.
For comparison the New York Times database reported as of Feb 7 at 8:37pm ET at least 502,363 cases and 7,558 deaths in Missouri since the beginning of the pandemic.
COVID-19 Vaccine interest survey for Jackson County Residents Fill out this survey on the Jackson County Health Dept. website: https://form.jotform.com/203524953651153
COVID-19 Vaccine interest survey for Kansas City Residents Fill out this KCMO Health Department survey: https://hipaa.jotform.com/210117358088152 If you don't have access to fill out digitally, call the Health Dept. at (816) 513-6152 and someone will assist you.
THANK YOU! for answering the Missouri Mondays CALL TO ACTION!
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