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This message is coming to you from the Missouri NEA Legislative Update listserv (mo-nea-legis-update@list.nea.org).
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MNEA Legislative Update  July 14, 2015
By Otto Fajen   MNEA Legislative Director

GOVERNOR SIGNS BILLS ON FINAL DAY FOR ACTION
Governor Nixon signed a number of bills on July 14, 2015, the final day for such action on bills enacted in the 2015 Regular Session.  Under the Missouri Constitution, the Governor must sign or veto any bill enacted within the final fifteen calendar days of session no later than 45 days after the official end of the regular session on May 30.  Thus, the deadline for action is July 14.  Any bill not signed or vetoed by that date will go into effect as if signed by the Governor.

ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Governor Nixon signed CCR#2 on SB 104 (Kraus) on July 14.  The original bill pertained to actions challenging initiatives and referendums.  A House amendment revised the process for determining the governing board of St. Louis Community College and adds an appointed member to the board.  The Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE) will select the appointed member to the board of St. Louis Community College.  The Association opposed the bill and believes this last-minute change regarding SLCC was improperly enacted without a proper hearing, is unfair to the institution and its students and will undermine public accountability of the board to the district by adding an unelected member appointed by a state entity.

SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS (SPRINGFIELD AND ST. JOSEPH)
The Governor’s approval of SB 104 also repeals a provision enacted in HB 63 (Dugger) relating to school board elections.  The House and Senate overrode the Governor’s veto of SS/SCS/HB 63 (Dugger) on April 8.  HB 63 included several provisions pertaining to school boards and provided that no person may be elected to the school board of a district if that person has served as superintendent of that district.  This provision was repealed when Nixon signed SB 104 into law.

HARRIS-STOWE STATE UNIVERSITY
Governor Nixon signed SB 334 (Nasheed) on July 14.  The bill broadens the degree-granting authority of Harris-Stowe State University (HHSU).  The Association supports the expanded degree option for HSSU.  The also expands the service territory of Northwest Missouri State University.

HUMAN SEXUALITY INSTRUCTION
The Governor also signed HB 501 (Montecillo).  HB 501 requires course materials relating to sexual education to contain information regarding sexual predators, online predators, and the consequences of inappropriate text messaging.  The Association supports the bill.

This message is coming to you from the Missouri NEA Legislative Update listserv (mo-nea-legis-update@list.nea.org).
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MNEA Special ESEA Action Alert July 8, 2015
By Otto Fajen  MNEA Legislative Director
ACTION ALERT – KEY ACTION TODAY ON ESEA REAUTHORIZATION IN CONGRESS!

U.S. Senators have begun consideration of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (S. 1177). S. 1177 addresses the problems the over-testing NCLB brought and the long overdue need to pass a rewrite of ESEA that includes fewer tests, more appropriate ways to measure student achievement through multiple measures, and flexibility for educators in the classroom.
This is a landmark occasion, a full 50 years after the original signing of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), in which the Senate takes their final step in the process of rewriting the broken No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law which brought forth the current test and punish culture our students are burdened by today.

To fulfill America’s promise of equal educational opportunity for all, NEA urges Congress to focus on three core goals in a final ESEA bill:
1) Closing opportunity gaps for students by creating a new accountability system with an “opportunity dashboard,” made up of multiple measures, as its centerpiece.
2) Giving students more time to learn by addressing over-testing, decoupling standardized tests and high-stakes decision making, and giving states and school districts flexibility to determine which tests provide the most useful information to inform instruction and help students learn.
3) Ensuring that all students have access to qualified educators who are empowered to focus on what is most important: student learning.

THREE ACTIONS NEEDED – Your action is needed today to support the vote on a critical amendment expected to take place today, July 8.  You can voice your support for an amendment offered by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) that addresses one of NEA’s core principles in ESEA reauthorization: the “opportunity dashboard.” Senator Reed argues that when we create opportunities for all, we fulfill the greatest aspirations of our country, but there is more work to do and more gaps to close.
1) PLEASE CALL 1-866-331-7233 to join the senator in supporting the bipartisan amendment he and Senator Kirk (R-IL) offered on the opportunity dashboard.  Your call will be patched-through to your senators’ offices so you can urge them to VOTE YES on the crucial Reed-Kirk amendment to S. 1177.
Today is also the day the U.S. House will resume consideration of the Student Success Act of 2015 (H.R. 5). As you may recall, the House marked up H.R. 5 in the spring but delayed the final vote on the bill. Today that process will begin again and include consideration of new amendments including an NEA-supported amendment from Rep. Salmon (R-AZ) which would protect schools from being punished by the 95% participation rule when parents choose to opt their children out of standardized tests.
Now is the time to make every voice heard. Congress didn’t listen to educators when they wrote NCLB. Be sure they hear your voice now.
2) SEND MESSAGES TO YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS by visiting Get ESEA Right.
http://educationvotes.nea.org/get-esea-right/
3) MAKE THIS YOUR HOME PAGE and you will receive updated alerts throughout the process of ESEA reauthorization. Continue the incredible momentum you started with NEA.

GPO-WEP fix, the Social Security Fairness Act, fights unfair offsets that slash retirement benefits

from

EdVotesClick here for full article.
Imagine this. You’ve spent the last 30 years dedicating your life to teaching students Algebra at a local high school. And during those decades in the classroom, to help make ends meet, you’ve worked several part-time jobs—including a 15-year stint as a night auditor at a local hotel. But now, you’re looking forward to retirement—that is, until you learn about a government offset called the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which is going to reduce your Social Security check by almost half.
While it sounds like a retirement nightmare, for hundreds of thousands of educators, police officers, fire fighters and other public service employees, it’s a reality. The Government Pension Offset (GPO) reduces public employees’ Social Security spousal or survivor benefits by two-thirds of their public pension — nine out of ten people lose their entire spousal benefit, even though their spouse paid Social Security taxes for many years. WEP reduces the earned Social Security benefits of an individual who also receives a public pension from a job not covered by Social Security — hard-working people lose a significant portion of the benefits they have earned themselves.
What this means, in real terms, is that public servants such as teachers, firefighters and police officers are losing the benefits they earned through a lifetime of public service. Loss of benefits can result from moving from private to public employment and vice versa, or moving between states that have different GPO/WEP or Social Security rules.

PLEASE Stand up for public servants and retirement security by sending an email to your elected officials urging them to support the Social Security Fairness Act of 2015!

Companies say they can’t find skilled workers. Turns out unions are pretty good at providing them.  By Lydia DePillis June 29 at 1:32 PM

This article includes: “…a quick history lesson. The declining relevance of unions in workforce development has several causes, other than the decline of the labor movement itself, and it starts in the 1930s.”

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MNEA Special Legislative Update – June 26, 2015
By Otto Fajen   MNEA Legislative Director
This message is coming to you from the Missouri NEA Legislative Update listserv (mo-nea-legis-update@list.nea.org).

GOVERNOR VETOES STUDENT TRANSFER, VIRTUAL AND CHARTER EXPANSION BILL
Governor Jay Nixon announced on June 26 that he will veto CCS/SCS/HCS/HB 42.  The veto was scheduled to be publicized at events in schools in Springfield and Ritenour school districts.
The Association opposes the final version of HB 42 and appreciates the action of the Governor to veto this harmful legislation.  MNEA urges legislators to vote in opposition to the bill and sustain the veto, should the bill be brought up for an override attempt in the Veto Session this September.
The legislature has again missed the opportunity to directly address the adverse financial impact caused by the state’s accreditation policy and State Board intervention in conjunction with the student transfer law on districts such as Riverview Gardens and Normandy.
The State Board and the legislature must correct this failing state policy: lack of support and ineffective state interference in local schools.  Failing to do so will consign other districts to suffer similar financial and educational harm if designated as unaccredited.
Unfortunately, HB 42 does little to improve the educational outcomes in struggling school districts and communities.  The bill doesn’t fully address the student transfer issue.  Instead, it undermines local control of schools across the state and enacts an expansion of charter and private virtual schools which is largely unrelated to student transfers and serves to divert public funds for the profit of private or quasi-private schools.
Stay tuned for further updates on opportunities to support the Association’s efforts to sustain the Governor’s veto of HB 42.  The Association will need members to contact and meet with legislators to remind them of the many concerns with HB 42 and ensure that it does not become law.

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About this veto in the News from progressmissouri.org
NIXON VETOES TRANSFER BILL. Governor Nixon said earlier today that he is vetoing this year’s school transfer bill because it doesn’t solve the problems of unaccredited school districts and creates new difficulties for public education in Missouri.
•    Post-Dispatch: Nixon vetoes school transfers bill
•    KWMU: Nixon vetoes school bill, saying it doesn’t solve transfer problems
•    KC Star: Gov. Jay Nixon vetoes Missouri student transfer bill, blocking charter
•    KMBC: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to veto school transfer bill
•    KMOX: Nixon Vetoes Student Transfers Bill, Some St. Louis-Area Legislators frustrated
•    KC Business Journal: Report: Nixon will veto school transfer bill

Secretary Duncan stated the nation is at a crossroads with two different paths for a new ESEA – a choice with moral and economic consequences. The current law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), should be replaced with a law that ensures opportunity for every child in this country; strengthens our nation economically; and expands support for schools, teachers, and principals, as well as accountability for the progress of all students.

from Lily Eskelsen García National Education Association President
I have some good news and some bad news.
The good news is that together, we have made HUGE progress to push Congress in the right direction to provide opportunity for all students.
The bad news is that Congress is now dragging its feet instead of working on the main education law that governs our schools.
Speak up here to tell Congress that our students are a priority.
Our students have already waited 13+ years. We can’t let Congress continue to push off students, and we can’t wait for the next school year to pass a bill that truly supports kids and empowers educators to lead.
Tell Congress that our students need equal opportunity and time to learn NOW, not later. They cannot wait.
Thank you for speaking up.
¡Si se puede!

- Lily
Lily Eskelsen García National Education Association President

P.S. Click here to tweet this message:
We’ve lived the #NCLB era for 13+ years too long. My students can’t wait for equal opportunity! Please bring #ESEA to the floor.

Legislative Update
by Otto Fajen   MNEA Legislative Director
Number 18   May 20, 2015

This message is coming to you from the Missouri NEA Legislative Update listserv (mo-nea-legis-update@list.nea.org).
[A list of the key topics. Click below summary on  “continue reading…“  to read full descriptions.]
SENATE SLOWDOWN AT SESSION END; MANY BILLS DIE
SPEAKER DIEHL RESIGNS; REP. RICHARDSON SELECTED AS NEW SPEAKER
WHAT YOU CAN DO

SUMMARY OF WHAT PASSED AND WHAT DIDN’T
PASSED

EDUCATION BUDGET
STUDENT TRANSFER/CHARTER AND VIRTUAL EXPANSION BILL
SO-CALLED “RIGHT-TO-WORK”
ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
HARRIS-STOWE STATE UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS (SPRINGFIELD AND ST. JOSEPH)
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION PERIOD
HUMAN SEXUALITY INSTRUCTION
DYSLEXIA
CHARTER SCHOOLS
OUTDOOR CAMPUS EXPRESSION
A+ SCHOLARSHIP RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT
MOST COLLEGE SAVINGS FUND
DID NOT PASS
PAYCHECK DECEPTION
MANDATED UNION RECERTIFICATION ELECTIONS
ACCREDITATION AND LOCAL CONTROL OF ASSESSMENT
2.55% FACTOR PSRS BILL
VIRTUAL COURSE ACCESS
WORKING AFTER RETIREMENT HOURS AND CONTRACTORS (KELLY SERVICES)
PENSION FORFEITURE
ST. LOUIS SCHOOL RETIREMENT
PHOTO ID
WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION AND WHISTLE-BLOWER LAW
PROTECTION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION
WORKPLACE ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS
TABOR
SMALL SCHOOLS FUNDING
DEBT SERVICE LIMIT
CIVICS TESTING CHANGES
CONSTITUTION PROJECT
DAILY PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
LEARNING STANDARDS WORK GROUPS
PARENTAL CONTROL OF EDUCATION
CAREER AND TECHNICAL CERTIFICATE
GIFTED EDUCATION FUNDING
TEEN SUICIDE PREVENTION
ANTI-BULLYING POLICIES
CPR INSTRUCTION
REMEDIATION AND DROPOUT
HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY TEST
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATIONS
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
POST-SECONDARY COURSE OPTIONS
DUAL CREDIT COURSES
BRIGHT FLIGHT SCHOLARSHIPS
ACCESS MISSOURI SCHOLARSHIPS
SPECIAL EDUCATION DUE PROCESS
STATE SCHOOLS FOR THE SEVERELY DISABLED
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This message is coming to you from the Missouri NEA Legislative Update listserv (mo-nea-legis-update@list.nea.org).
[A list of the key topics. Click below summary on  “continue reading…“  to read full descriptions.]
SENATE QUITS EARLY AT SESSION END; MANY BILLS DIE
SPEAKER DIEHL RESIGNS; REP. RICHARDSON SELECTED AS NEW SPEAKER
ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
CAMPUS EXPRESSION
MOST HIGHER EDUCATION SAVINGS PROGRAM
SUMMARY OF WHAT PASSED AND WHAT DIDN’T
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This message is coming to you from the Missouri NEA Legislative Update listserv (mo-nea-legis-update@list.nea.org).
[A list of the key topics. Click below summary on  “continue reading…“  to read full descriptions.]
SENATE SLOWDOWN
HOUSE APPROVES “RIGHT-TO-WORK”; BILL GOES TO GOVERNOR
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This message is coming to you from the Missouri NEA Legislative Update listserv (mo-nea-legis-update@list.nea.org).
MNEA Legislative Update   Week 18, No. 2, May 12, 2015
By Otto Fajen   MNEA Legislative Director
SENATE FORCES VOTE TO PASS “RIGHT-TO-WORK”, BUT NOT PAYCHECK DECEPTION
The Senate took the rare step of forcing an end to debate by moving the “previous question” several times to force votes on a controversial bill that would affect the constitutional bargaining rights of all Missourians.
The Senate approved SCS/HCS/HBs 116 & 569 (Burlison) by a vote of 21-13.  The bill contains the so-called “Right-to-Work” proposal.  The “Right-to-Work” provision applies to all employees and would remove the ability of labor unions to receive compensation for the costs of fulfilling their duties as exclusive representative.
The Senate version now returns to the House for its approval.  The changes in the SCS are primarily the inclusion of specific penalty provisions for violations of the act.  The House concluded floor action for the day before the Senate passed HB 116, but the bill could be taken up by the House as soon as May 13.
The Association opposes the bill and appreciates the support of the bipartisan group of Senators who voted against the bill.
The Senate actually spent almost the entire day with amendments pending to add the Paycheck Deception proposal for certain public labor organizations, but those amendments were all withdrawn before the forced votes were taken on the original bill pertaining to “Right-to-Work.”
Paycheck Deception would apply to most public labor organizations and require annual, written authorization for payroll deduction of member contributions for dues and for political action.
The Association opposes Paycheck Deception.  All employees have the constitutional right to participate in the Association and work together to support political campaigns without undue interference from state policies that would undermine those rights.

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