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MARE Legislative Platform

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2016-2017 MARE Legislative Platform

November 14, 2016

        

State Issues

School Finance:

MARE Supports:

  1. Increased appropriations for a fully funded formula fulfilling the promise made to Missouri Schools when the current formula was implemented in 2005.
  2. Restoration of categorical funding (transportation, Parents as Teachers, special programs, safe school grants, alternative education/instruction program options, etc).
  3. Stabilized funding for Small Schools with consideration being given to a District Size Modifier.
  4. Increased funding in the area of technology for upgrades (computers, Internet connection, etc).
  5. Providing adequate educational resources (funding) for district summer school programs.
  6. The creation of a state funding source to support school facility replacement and/or improvements.
  7. Efforts made to find new sources of revenue for Missouri public schools. 
  8. The ongoing evaluation of the Dollar Value Modifier on rural schools and if necessary freezing until the State Adequacy Target of $6,131 is reached.
  9. Opportunities to assist districts (through funding) wishing to share staffs or programs.
  10. Allowing the local school district the option to provide a hiring incentive or salary schedule modification to attract/retain teachers based upon demonstrated need for teachers certified in identified shortage subject areas as well as recruitment of highly effective teachers in unaccredited districts.
  11. Funds needed for school improvement to restore a district to full accreditation.
  12. Reformation of Missouri tax credits to at a minimum allow for the establishment of caps on programs where feasible, identify sunset dates on ALL tax credits, NOT subject tax credits to appropriations, elimination of some tax credit programs.
  13. Re-instatement of the 2.55 factor, after 31 years of service with PSRS.
  14. Legislation removing school districts from prevailing wage requirements.
  15. Creating educational standards for home-schooled students and instituting procedures for enforcement of those standards.
  16. Increased professional development funding to train administrators to conduct effective and constructive evaluations of district staff. Funding to train board members to conduct effective and constructive evaluations of district superintendent.
  17. On-going review of Missouri’s approach to funding public education programs making such programs more equitable.
  18. Maintaining the highest quality staff by implementing plans for their effective recruitment and retention.
  19. Increasing the bonding capacity to 20% for growth and facility costs.
  20. Allow voters to approve bond issues with a simple majority.
  21. Legislation that would provide for fair and equitable tuition and transportation rates for all schools statewide for K-8 and K-12. (With regards to ongoing school transfers – 167.131)
  22. Legislation that would allow the increase of the value of property that board members may sell or lease such property to the district when the amount to be paid is not more than $750 per transaction or $10,000 per year.

 

MARE Opposes:

  1. Decreased funding for career, technical and vocational education programs.
  2. Mandating new programs without appropriate funding for maintaining such programs.
  3. Establishment of an arbitrary percentage of student performance in the employee evaluation process.
  4. Legislation to limit the local school boards efforts to operate a school district.
  5. The creation of any tax reform that would hurt the funding of public schools.
  6. Tax modification (reduction) legislation that reduces the funding available to provide for state programs/services.
  7. Replacing the Missouri income tax with a sales tax.

 

School Governance:

MARE Supports:

  1. Legislation that defines the parameters of collective bargaining for public school employees while preserving the local boards’ authority to make final decisions in the best interest of their respective districts.
  2. Legislation to clarify the Human Rights Act so school employees may be protected when performing their jobs.
  3. Mandating the utilization of seat belts on school buses on the basis that scientific evidence can demonstrate a marked increase in student safety and such a mandate would be totally funded  (by the State) to include ALL costs associated with such legislation. (Funding to include additional equipment, equipment upgrades, personnel, etc.)
  4. Flexibility in funding placement and spending until formula is fully funded.
  5. Greater flexibility and efficiency to those school districts that might deem it advantageous to consider the reorganization process, by allowing the creation of optional elementary unit districts and combined-high school unit districts.
  6. The replication of any proven effective programs that would meet the needs of students specifically those living in poverty or those that would be considered “at-risk.”

 

MARE Opposes:

  1. Any requirement for PSRS/PEERS to combine/consolidate in whole or part and/or asset investments with any or all of the other state retirement system.
  2. Any legislation that would dictate that the Commissioner of Education position be an elected official.
  3. The restriction/removal of the Board of Education’s local control of public school districts.
  4. Forced consolidation of any school district.
  5. Forced open enrollment, vouchers, tuition tax credits and use of public funds for non-public schools.
  6. Mandating open enrollment of students to attend schools in districts in which their parents do not pay property taxes.
  7. Establishing an arbitrary percentage of student performance that must be used in employee evaluations; reducing the probationary period for teachers, and basing teacher’s pay solely based on evaluations until necessary funding is available for teacher evaluation and evaluator programs.
  8. Legislation restricting/changing the basic governance, policies and services provided by educational support organizations to the local school district (i.e. MSHSAA, MUSIC, etc.).

 

Specific MARE Issues:

  1. MARE will support legislation/amendments that will restore funding to MARE (state budget line item) for school board training services to rural Missouri school districts.
  2. MARE will oppose any legislation/amendments with the intended purpose of restricting/eliminating services that MARE provides to rural Missouri school districts.

                                                                  

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