Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts tagged State Government

…it comes from: http://www.stlmag.com/news/think-again/the-price-of-hating-obamacare/

The Price of Hating Obamacare

The Missouri GOP goes to great expense (ours) to keep the poor uninsured.

By Ray Hartmann January 16, 2015 9:23 AM

 

 

In this article Ray Hartman ties together a number of contributing factors involved in Missouri’s inability to care for its citizens.

Missouri NEA Legislative Update

Week 3, No. 3, January 21, 2015

By Otto Fajen    MNEA Legislative Director

STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

Governor Jay Nixon delivered the State of the State Address to a joint session of the House and Senate in the House Chamber on January 21. The State of the State address gives the Governor a chance to present his vision for the state and his budget priorities.  The Senate Appropriations Committee will meet on January 22 to hear an overview of the Governor’s FY 2016 recommendations and FY 2015 supplemental recommendations.

The Governor’s budget recommendations for FY 2016 include several increases for public education:

$50 million for the school funding formula (plus an additional $79 million in contingent funds based on possible enactment of revenue increases),

$21 million for School District Trust Fund payments from Prop C sales tax funds,

$11 million in federal TANF funds to expand preschool for low-income working families,

$5 million in early childhood funds for the Early Childhood Special Education program,

$2 million in grants to expand Project Lead the Way in support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, and

$500,000 for dropout prevention and workforce preparation for at-risk youth.

The Governor recommended funding the contingent measures by strengthening and reforming Medicaid, enacting tax amnesty and streamlining revenue collection functions.

Missouri NEA cautioned that tax-cut bills enacted in the last two sessions could leave public schools without adequate funding, and state revenue has decreased to a point where that scenario is playing out.  The Association appreciates the Governor’s efforts to increase funding for public schools in a challenging budget year.  MNEA remains hopeful that the Governor and legislature can work together to fulfill the promise of a quality education for all Missouri students, regardless of where they live.

I will post these regular updates for our 2015 Missouri General Assembly.

Missouri NEA Legislative Update

Week 1, No. 1, January 5, 2015

By Otto Fajen

MNEA Legislative Director

SESSION RETURNS THIS WEEK!

The 2015 legislative session will begin at noon on Wednesday, January 7, 2015. The MNEA Daily Legislative Update 2015 is back to cover daily events when the session begins. The daily updates will be available by email. The updates will keep you informed in a timely manner concerning developments on legislation affecting school children and school employees and will advise you of actions you can take to affect the legislative process. A weekly MNEA Legislative Update digest will also be posted on the MNEA website and will summarize legislative activity for the week.

MNEA’S EDUCATION PLATFORM

Missouri NEA believes that every child has a basic right to attend a great public school. Missouri’s teachers are deeply committed to the success of every child. Students are at the center of MNEA’s legislative platform and advocacy. MNEA also continues to lead the fight to defeat the proposals that would harm public education.

MNEA played a central role in Protect Our Local Schools, a coalition of teachers, parents, principals, superintendents, education retirees, school boards and other groups that worked to successfully defeat Amendment 3, an unfunded mandate and a political take-over of our local schools in Missouri.

The Association also played a key role in many legislative races in the November elections, and now it’s time for the Association’s legislative advocacy to ensure that those who received the Association’s support in their election campaign fulfill their commitments to stand up for children and public education during the legislative session.

The Association urges the legislature to invest in the classroom priorities that build the foundation for student learning. These priorities include full funding for the foundation formula and investing in the extra services at-risk students need, such as early childhood education and extended learning time.

For full messages and archives, go to http://www.mnea.org/Missouri/LegislativeUpdates.aspx

 

 

 

Please help promote this public service event. Contact Lloyd Klinedinst (email:  lloydk@klinedinst.com cell phone:  (314)-609-5571 ) for more information or for a flyer version of this post for printing and distribution.

TOWN HALL MEETING

Pacific City Hall – 300 Hoven Drive

Wednesday February 112 2014

7:00 pm

 

Let’s talk about

Public Education

 

 

Carl Peterson will speak to us about the state of America’s public education

•What do the state, national and international tests tell us?
•What are we doing right?
•What should we change?
•Is school choice and a voucher system for all children the answer? •What is the real role of money in education?

•What can we do?

You will leave with a good understanding of what the facts are regarding our educational systems, what the challenges are, and how you can help.

Carl Peterson is a former president of the Ferguson-Florissant School board who has remained quite active in speaking out in behalf of Missouri Public Schools. For ten years, he has been one of the columnists for the Opinion Shapers page in the St. Charles County Suburban Journal. He spent 18 years as a salesman of media packages for the Blair Packaging Company and is, currently, a manufacturing representative for replicators of CD’s and DVD’s.

Peterson received a Bachelors degree in Engineering from Bradley University and a Masters degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri-Rolla. He is married to Jackie Peterson, a career teacher, and is the father of two children.

We have another chance to make statements to the Public Service Commission! Here’s today’s  email notice from PSC:

From: psc-releases-bounces@lists.mo.gov [mailto:psc-releases-bounces@lists.mo.gov] On Behalf Of Ochoa, Gregg
Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2013 10:46 AM
To: psc-releases@lists.mo.gov
Subject: [Psc-releases] MEDIA ADVISORY — PSC To Hold Local Public Hearing In Washington In Ameren Missouri Case

Missouri Public Service Commission
Governor Office Building
200 Madison Street
PO Box 360
Jefferson City, Mo. 65102-0360
573-751-9300
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MissouriPSC

JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Public Service Commission will hold a local public hearing in Washington on July 10 in a certificate of convenience and necessity case filed by Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri. The local public hearing schedule appears below.

July 10—Washington. Knights of Columbus Hall, Lower Level, 1121 Columbus Lane. The local public hearing will begin at 5:00 p.m. with the taking of testimony from the public.

In January, Ameren Missouri filed an application with the Missouri Public Service Commission seeking a certificate of convenience and necessity from the Commission to expand the boundaries of its Labadie Energy Center to permit the construction and operation of a utility waste landfill. Ameren Missouri has asked the Commission to approve its application by December 31, 2013, to allow it to begin construction of the landfill in 2014.

The Commission held a local public hearing in this case on June 25, 2013 in Union. Attendance at the hearing was heavy and many interested persons were unable to testify. Therefore, the Commission is scheduling a second local public hearing on July 10 in Washington to give more people an opportunity to testify.

This local public hearing will be held in a facility which meets the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any person who needs additional accommodations to participate in the local public hearing should call the Public Service Commission’s hotline at 1-800-392-4211 (voice) or Relay Missouri at 711 before the hearing.
-30-
Case No. EA-2012-0281

Be sure to read the summary of SB464 and even the whole text (the devil is usually in the details):

http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/bts_web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=43

 

State Senator Brian Nieves District 26 Capitol Building, Room 433 Jefferson City, MO 65101 Contact: Jessica Johnson (573) 751-3678 For Immediate Release: Aug. 29, 2012

Senator Nieves Supports Judge’s Ruling Regarding Revision of Summary for Proposition E JEFFERSON CITY —

Senator Brian Nieves, R-Washington, commends a Missouri judge’s decision to rule the summary of Proposition E — an initiative to appear on the November ballot addressing health insurance exchanges and the will of the people — unfair and misleading for Missourians. With this decision, the summary of the initiative will be rewritten, and citizens can make a more informed decision when casting their votes at the polls. “This is a victorious time for the 71 percent of Missouri voters who voted against overbearing federal health care mandates at the polls in August 2010,” Sen. Nieves said. “Missouri has continuously fought against excessive federal government regulations, and a battle has been won to ensure the liberties and voices of the people are protected.” The original Proposition E summary stated, “Shall Missouri law be amended to deny individuals, families and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care plans through a state-based health benefit exchange, unless authorized by statute, initiative or referendum, or through an exchange operated by the federal government as required by the federal health care act?” “The original summary was extremely deceptive, partisan, and did not accurately describe the intent of the proposition,” Sen. Nieves said. “The swiftness of the judge’s decision exemplifies the fact that the language was unjust to Missouri voters.” The new language will read, “Shall Missouri law be amended to prohibit the governor or any state agency, from establishing or operating state-based health insurance exchanges unless authorized by a vote of the people or by the Legislature?” The summary mirrors the language found in SB 464, which passed during the 2012 legislative session and established Proposition E. “I am always proud to stand up for the will of the people and fight against actions that are intrusive to our state sovereignty,” Sen. Nieves said. “The ability to cast our votes at the polls is one of our country’s greatest freedoms, and voters deserve to have accurate and fair language to consider. We can now move forward and together, make Missouri the best place possible to live, work, and raise a family.”

-END-

RIF Bill in Senate Today – Charter Schools Bill Goes to Governor – House Loads Up Gifted Education Bill
—————————————————————————————
Missouri NEA Legislative Update, Week 19, No. 2, May 15, 2012
By Otto Fajen, MNEA Legislative Director

ACTION ALERT: REDUCTION IN FORCE BILL TO BE DEBATED BY SENATE
The Senate is expected to debate HCS/HB 1526 (Scott Dieckhaus) on May 16. The perfected HCS/HB 1526 damages the reduction in force (RIF) requirements by undermining respect for certification, experience and commitment to the district, while forcing districts to create an entirely new system to determine layoff priorities and leaving districts vulnerable to various legal challenges in implementing this new, untested mandate.

The Association strongly opposes the bill.

An extremist group known as Students First, centered in Sacramento, California, has hired numerous lobbyists in Missouri and is pushing the various changes in tenure and evaluation policy contained in the various versions of HB 1526 and in SB 806 (Jane Cunningham).

ACTION NEEDED: YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY DONE SO, please call, write or e-mail to urge your state senator to oppose HCS/HB 1526.

The following link will connect you to the MNEA Legislative Action Center Action Alert on HCS/HB 1526.

Type in your zip code and the alert will automatically be directed to your state senator. The Action Alert contains a brief summary and a brief, editable message box to help you send an email to your state senator on the issue.

YOUR MESSAGE WILL HAVE A GREATER IMPACT IF YOU PERSONALIZE THE MESSAGE AND ADD YOUR OWN CONCERNS REGARDING THE BILL.

http://www.capwiz.com/nea/mo/issues/alert/?alertid=61325731&type=ST

CHARTER SCHOOLS BILL PASSES HOUSE, WILL GO TO GOVERNOR
The House gave final approval to SS/SCS/SB 576 (Bill Stouffer) on May 15 by a vote of 99-54. Since the House made no changes to the bill, the bill has been finally passed in the same form by both chambers and will be printed in final form and sent to the Governor for his approval or veto.

The bill provides for expansion of charter schools and charter school accountability and transparency. In floor debate, Rep. Clem Smith and Rep. Sara Lampe spoke to concerns regarding the impact of expansion of charter school authority in urban and rural school districts across the state.

The Association opposes expansion of charter school territory or sponsorship until charter schools are shown to meet the same standards of accountability, transparency and respect for the rights of students, parents and staff as are applicable to district schools.

HOUSE LOADS UP GIFTED EDUCATION BILL
The House approved SB 599 (Kurt Schaefer) on May 15 after adopting five amendments. The bill requires each school district to include in its annual school accountability report card whether it has a state-approved gifted education program or services and the number of students served. The Association supports the original bill.

The following amendments were adopted by the House, and the Senate has refused to concur and asks the House to recede from its position or grant a conference to discuss the disposition of the House amendments.

HA 1 (Paul Fitzwater) excludes a certain environmental fine payment from a certain district’s local school revenue deduction in the school funding formula.

HA 2 (Dave Hinson) requires DESE to provide support for career-related student organizations.

HA 3 (Rick Stream) adds his HB 1337 regarding CPR courses and graduation requirements, along with Rep. Neth’s language to allow districts to offer PE or fine arts credit for ballroom and other dancing classes.

HA 4 (Eric Burlison) requires more detailed tracking of post-secondary success of gifted students and includes Rep. Nasheed’s HB 1609 regarding personal study plans for high-school and post-secondary education or career plans.

HA 5 (Ward Franz) adds his HCS/HB 1169 to modify provisions relating to the investigation of an incident arising from spanking in a school or the use of reasonable force to protect persons or property. The requires the district to report to local law enforcement, rather than the juvenile office.

STUDENT TRAVEL HARDSHIPS DEBATED BY SENATE
The Senate debated HCS/HB 1789 (Rodney Schad) on May 15 but did not bring the bill to a vote. The bill revises the law regarding travel hardships for public school students. The bill requires granting of hardships when a student lives more than ten miles from the nearest district school and at least five miles closer to a school in a neighboring district. The SCS version increases the thresholds to at least seventeen miles from the nearest district school and at least seven miles close to a school in a neighboring district.

Amendments dealing with DESE support for career-related student organizations and requiring that DESE issue accreditation standards and related documents by official state rule were ruled out of order. Sen. David Pearce offered an amendment to remove the new hardship mandate and “grandfather” students and siblings who have existing hardship waivers, even if the district of residence changes bus routes or other factors that might eliminate the grounds for the waiver in a later year.

CPR REQUIREMENT DEBATED BY SENATE
The Senate debated SCS/HB 1337 (Rick Stream) on May 15 but did not bring the bill to a vote. The SCS version provides that high schools may provide instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation but does not add this instruction as a graduation requirement.

HIGHER EDUCATION BILL IN CONFERENCE
The House and Senate conferees on SB 455 (David Pearce) met on May 15 to decide which House amendments to the bill would be removed and which ones will stay in the final (conference committee) version of the bill. Controversial amendments were removed, including a new tax credit for sporting events, diversion of payroll withholding taxes for college tuition, the provisions of HB 1918 (Todd Richardson) revising authority for property ownership by community colleges and a provision banning funding for the Sue Shear Institute at UMSL. The conference committee version will include two technical amendments and the provisions of SCS/SB 563 (Bob Dixon) to modify the term lengths of the board of governors of Missouri State University so that no more than three members’ terms expire in any given year.

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
The Senate Education Committee was scheduled to vote on HCS/HB 1273 (Mike Kelley) in executive session on May 15, but no motion was made to approve the bill, so no vote was taken. The bill requires the State Board of Education to promulgate rules allowing school boards to lease advertising space on the interior and exterior of school buses.


Budget Bills Move Ahead – So Does Charter Schools Bill – RIF Bill Still on Hold – State Board Intervention Bill Gets Loaded with Special Interest Amendments
—————————————————————————————
Missouri NEA Legislative Update, Week 18, No. 3, May 9, 2012
By Otto Fajen, MNEA Legislative Director

BUDGET BILLS COME OUT OF CONFERENCE, FLOOR ACTION ON MAY 10
The budget conference dissolved on May 9 after final action was completed on all open items and language. To pass the budget bills in Regular Session, the Missouri Constitution provides that the legislature must conclude final action on the bills by 6 p.m. on May 11, but final action is now expected a day early on May 10.

To start the breaking of the log jam of budget-related issues, the Senate took up and passed funding revisions for veterans’ homes in SS/SCS/HB 1731 (David Day) on May 9. Sen. Crowell offered the Senate Substitute (SS) version, which funds veterans’ home with gambling boat admission funds and guarantees $35 million in tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) funds for early childhood education.

Sen. Ridgeway added SA 1 to ensure that the provisions of the bill are non-severable, meaning that if any provision is ruled invalid, the entire bill will be considered invalid. Sen. Lager added SA 2 to require the Joint Committee on Education to develop a comprehensive funding formula for public higher education institutions by Dec. 31, 2013, and requiring the legislature to implement a funding formula by FY 2015.

The SS prohibits implementation of a Quality Rating System (QRS) for early childhood education without further authorizing legislation. Corrective language offered as SA 3 by Sen. Cunningham ensures that public colleges and universities can continue to train early childhood education teachers.

The SS does not contain any language to restrict funding for the Sue Shear Policy Institute at UMSL.

The conference committee version of HB 2003 (Ryan Silvey) removes the earmarked $2M in additional funding for Southeast Missouri State University, and includes an additional $3 million distributed to seven public colleges and universities (but not including the University of Missouri, Missouri State University or Harris-Stowe University) based on the extent to which their per pupil amount is below those institutions with higher per pupil funding.

The conference committee version of HB 2005 (Ryan Silvey) moves the remaining funding for the Missouri Preschool Project to the Office of Administration, includes language blocking implementation of any Quality Rating System for early childhood education without further legislation, phases down existing grants and requires DESE to promulgate an official state rule regarding implementation of the program.
CHARTER SCHOOLS
The House Rules Committee approved SS/SCS/SB 576 (Bill Stouffer) on May 9. The bill provides for expansion of charter schools and charter school accountability and transparency. The bill will now be placed on the House calendar and will likely be taken up for final passage during the last week of session.

The Association opposes expansion of charter school territory or sponsorship until charter schools are shown to meet the same standards of accountability, transparency and respect for the rights of students, parents and staff as are applicable to district schools.
REDUCTION IN FORCE BILL AWAITS COMMITTEE REFERRAL
Senate Pro Tem Rob Mayer has not yet referred HCS/HB 1526 (Scott Dieckhaus) to a committee as of May 9. The latest version of the bill damages the reduction in force (RIF) requirements by undermining respect for certification, experience and commitment to the district, while forcing districts to create an entirely new system to determine layoff priorities and leaving districts vulnerable to various legal challenges in implementing this new, untested mandate. The Association opposes the bill.

An extremist group known as Students First, centered in Sacramento, California, has hired numerous lobbyists in Missouri and is pushing the various changes in tenure and evaluation policy contained in the various versions of HB 1526 and SB 806 (Jane Cunningham).
HOUSE COMMITTEE LOADS UP AND PASSES STATE BOARD INTERVENTION BILL
The House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee approved an HCS version of SS/SCS/SB 677 (David Pearce) on May 9. The HCS includes many amendments. MNEA supports the original SB 677, but strongly opposes several of the amendments added to the HCS, including provisions allowing virtual charter open enrollment and district-level alternative teacher certification standards.

The bill revises the timelines and options for State Board intervention when it classifies a district as unaccredited. The bill allows the State Board to consider possible changes in governance when classifying a district as unaccredited, rather than waiting two years and automatically lapsing the district. The bill also incorporates language to require that the State Board hold a hearing in the unaccredited district to help bring community resources and stakeholders together in support of a district improvement plan.

HCA 1 (Myron Neth) revises the election of the Kansas City school board. Currently, the board has nine members elected to four-year terms. Three are at-large while six reside in and are elected in subdistricts. HCA 1 reduces the number to 7, including one at-large and six members residing in subdistricts but also elected at-large. The HCA was adopted.

HCA 2 (Cole McNary) adds provisions similary to his HB 1425 relating to reading instruction and retention in grade based upon reading level at the end of third grade. The amendment was adopted.

HCA 3 (Jay Barnes) made several changes to the provisions relating to State Board intervention, such as removing the State Board’s authority to allowd continued local board governance with terms and conditions, requiring more public input, retaining the requirement to submit a plan to subdivide the district if it remains unaccredited for five years and making certain changes relating to student transfers. The amendment was approved by a vote of 13-10.

The committee defeated, by vote of 9-13, HCA 4 offered by Rep. Cole McNary. The HCA would have added his HB 1920 to allow unaccredited districts to create their own pilot program of alternative teacher certification standards for certain teachers.

HCA 5 (Jay Barnes) adds the provisions of his HB 1629 regarding virtual school and virtual charter school open enrollment, but capped at one percent of total enrollment. The amendment was adopted.

HCA 6 (Rodney Schad) adds the provisions of SCS/HB 1789 relating to pupil transportation hardship. The amendment was adopted.
STUDENT TRAVEL HARDSHIPS
The Senate General Laws Committee approved an SCS version of HCS/HB 1789 (Rodney Schad) on May 9. The bill revises the law regarding travel hardships for public school students. The bill requires granting of hardships when a student lives more than ten miles from the nearest district school and at least five miles closer to a school in a neighboring district. The SCS version increases the thresholds to at least seventeen miles from the nearest district school and at least seven miles close to a school in a neighboring district.
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARINGS
The House gave final approval (Third Reading vote) to an HCS version of SCS/SB 595 (Will Kraus) on May 9 by a vote of 144-5. The bill transfers the special education due process hearing to an impartial hearing officer who is a member of the Administrative Hearing Commission and requires at least three of the five members of the AHC to receive training in special education law and procedures. The HCS specifies that the AHC members trained in special education law and procedures must receive at least ten hours of such additional training.
GIFTED EDUCATION PROGRAMS
The Senate Education Committee unanimously approved HB 1062 (Scott Dieckhaus) on May 9 without change. The bill requires each school district to include in its annual school accountability report card whether it has a state-approved gifted education program or services and the number of students served. The Association supports the bill.

Budget Bills Threatened by a Few Senators’ Personal Demands – Charter Schools Still Pushed – RIF Bill (HCS/HB 1526 (Scott Dieckhaus)) on Hold – State Board Intervention Bill (SS/SCS/SB 677 (David Pearce)) Moves Ahead
—————————————————————————————
Missouri NEA Legislative Update, Week 18, No. 2, May 8, 2012
By Otto Fajen, MNEA Legislative Director

BUDGET BILLS REMAIN IN CONFERENCE, NO SENATE FLOOR ACTION
The budget conference scheduled for May 8 was cancelled. The conference was scheduled to reconcile the few remaining differences on the FY 2013 budget bills. The Senate read in several messages, then recessed until the afternoon and then adjourned for the day without substantive debate of any bill. Sen. Jason Crowell has threatened to block Senate action on any bill until the Senate first acts on certain legislative prohibitions regarding funding of programs.

House Budget Chair Ryan Silvey has indicated that the House will not negotiate on the budget until the Senate passes funding revisions for veterans’ homes as contained in HB 1731 (David Day) or similar language in another bill. Senators Cunningham, Crowell and others will block such a bill if it does not also ban funding for the Sue Shear Public Policy Institute at UMSL and prohibit DESE administration of the Missouri Preschool Project and prohibit implementation of a Quality Rating System (QRS) for early childhood education. Also at issue in the budget debate is an additional $2M in funding for Southeast Missouri State University, which is strongly supported by Speaker Steven Tilley and strongly opposed by Sen. Jason Crowell.

The House approved HA 1 (Sue Allen) to SB 715 (Will Kraus) on May 8. The bill relates to the state militia. HA 1 bans any implementation of a Quality Rating System for early childhood education without specific authority in law. However, the amendment also bans any improvement system, evaluation system or training quality assurance system or any training or credentialing for early childhood education. The Association is concerned that this language may prohibit credentialing and degree programs in early childhood education at colleges and universities across the state.

To pass the budget bills in Regular Session, the Missouri Constitution provides that the legislature must conclude final action on the bills by 6 p.m. on May 11. Discussion of the possibility of closing Senate debate and forcing a vote on the various funding provisions and the budget bills through the process known as “moving the previous question” or “PQ” continues as the time remaining for final action on the budget dwindles.

CHARTER SCHOOLS HEARING POSTPONED
The House Rules Committee postponed its scheduled vote on SS/SCS/SB 576 (Bill Stouffer) from May 8 to May 9. The bill provides for expansion of charter schools and charter school accountability and transparency. If approved on May 9, the bill would be placed on the House calendar and could be taken up for final passage as soon as May 11.

The Association opposes expansion of charter school territory or sponsorship until charter schools are shown to meet the same standards of accountability, transparency and respect for the rights of students, parents and staff as are applicable to district schools.

 

REDUCTION IN FORCE BILL AWAITS COMMITTEE REFERRAL
Senate Pro Tem Rob Mayer has not yet referred HCS/HB 1526 (Scott Dieckhaus) to a committee as of May 8. The latest version of the bill damages the reduction in force (RIF) requirements by undermining respect for certification, experience and commitment to the district, while forcing districts to create an entirely new system to determine layoff priorities and leaving districts vulnerable to various legal challenges in implementing this new, untested mandate. The Association opposes the bill.

An extremist group known as Students First, centered in Sacramento, California, has hired numerous lobbyists in Missouri and is pushing the various changes in tenure and evaluation policy contained in the various versions of HB 1526 and SB 806 (Jane Cunningham).

 

HOUSE COMMITTEE TO HEAR STATE BOARD INTERVENTION BILL
The House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee will hear SS/SCS/SB 677 (David Pearce) on May 9. MNEA supports SB 677. The bill revises the timelines and options for State Board intervention when it classifies a district as unaccredited. The bill allows the State Board to consider possible changes in governance when classifying a district as unaccredited, rather than waiting two years and automatically lapsing the district. The bill also incorporates language to require that the State Board hold a hearing in the unaccredited district to help bring community resources and stakeholders together in support of a district improvement plan.

Senators Use Typical Ploys: Filibustering & Pitting One Interest Group against Another – Missouri Court Plan Still in Jeopardy
Missouri NEA Weekly Legislative Update, Week 18, No. 1, May 7, 2012
By Otto Fajen, MNEA Legislative Director

BUDGET BILLS IN CONFERENCE, SENATE FLOOR HELD HOSTAGE TO VETERANS FUNDING BILL AND EXTREMIST ATTACKS
The House and Senate met in conference on May 7 and resolved many of the differences on the FY 2013 budget bills. House Budget Chair Ryan Silvey has indicated that the House will not conclude budget negotiations until the Senate passes funding revisions for veterans’ homes as contained in HB 1731 (David Day) or similar language in another bill. Conferees agreed to the House pay plan to give a 2% pay increase to state employees paid less than $70,000 per year. Conferees also agreed maintain $200,000 for the Missouri Scholars and Fine Arts Academy. Among the open items are a $2M increase in aid for Southeast Missouri State University and Senate changes to move early childhood education funding from DESE to the Office of Administration.
The Senate Veterans’ Affairs, Pensions, Emerging Issues and Urban Affairs Committee approved an SCS version of HB 1731 on May 3, but Sen. Crowell has not yet turned the bill in to the floor. The SCS version funds veterans’ homes with gambling boat admissions fee revenues, while shifting the $35 million in funding for early childhood education to come from tobacco Master Settlement Agreement revenues received annually by the state. The bill also attempts to ban funding for the Sue Shear Institute at UMSL and prohibit DESE administration of the Missouri Preschool Project.
Senators Crowell and Cunningham, among others, blocked Senate debate for more than nine hours on May 7 as Sen. Munzlinger attempted to pass the veterans’ homes funding language added by Rep. Silvey’s amendment to Munzlinger’s SB 498. The Senators objected that the bill does not contain language to prohibit funding for the Sue Shear Institute (UMSL) and DESE administration of early childhood funding, provisions which those Senators insist must pass before they will allow the budget to pass.
To pass the budget bills in Regular Session, the Missouri Constitution provides that the legislature must conclude final action on the bills by 6 p.m. on May 11.

HIGHER EDUCATION BILL HELD HOSTAGE TO BUDGET FIGHT
The House approved SB 455 (David Pearce) on May 7 after adopting a total of seven amendments. The bill would modify the duties prescribed to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.
The most controversial amendment, offered by Rep. Sue Allen, was the language to ban funding for the Sue Shear Institute at UMSL and prohibit DESE administration of the Missouri Preschool Project. The bill was approved and returned to the Senate for further consideration.
Also among the amendments were SCS/SB 563 (Bob Dixon) to modify the term lengths of the board of governors of Missouri State University so that no more than three members’ terms expire in any given year and language revising authority for property ownership by community colleges.

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