MARE Legislative Platform
Missouri Association of Rural Education
Student Educational Attainment:
- Supports increased appropriations for the public schools, which are sufficient to fully fund the foundation formula and further equalize support of each child in Missouri.
- Supports increased funding for Small Schools Grant in order to expand the program to include districts with an ADA of 351 to 450+ with consideration being given to a District Size Modifier in the formula.
- Supports legislation to provide adequate educational resources (funding) for district summer school programs.
- Supports legislation to assist districts (through funding) wishing to share staffs or programs.
- Supports 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.
- Supports increased funding for the use/upgrade of technology, internet connection, MOREnet, and alternative instructional options.
- Supports increased funding in early childhood programs, safe schools grants and alternative education programs.
- Supports legislation for the creation of state funding to support school facility replacement and/or improvement.
- Supports legislation to create educational standards for home-schooled students and institutes procedures for enforcement of those standards.
- Supports legislation to require all charter schools to be held accountable in the same manner as all public school districts.
- Opposes decreased funding for career, technical and vocational education programs.
- Opposes legislation mandating that school districts educate students who have been suspended or expelled.
- Opposes legislation that would expand Charter School Districts at the expense of public school funding.
- Opposes legislation restricting school administrators from prior review of student publications.
- Opposes legislation mandating new programs without appropriating the necessary funds to implement or maintain such programs.
- Supports efforts to work with the Governor, the Missouri Legislature, and DESE to identify long-term solutions for full funding of Missouri public education, which might include new sources of revenue.
- Supports efforts for restoration of formula shortfalls for FY10, FY11, and FY12 as well as cuts and/or withholdings of categorical funds including transportation, parents as teachers, career ladder, testing programs, and support for local professional development centers.
- Supports increased funding for transportation to address the increasing operational costs and concerns for student safety.
- Supports the on-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the Dollar Value Modifier on rural school districts.
- Supports legislation requiring the State to provide assistance to rural provisionally accredited and unaccredited school districts to aid those districts in returning to full accreditation status.
- Supports legislation exempting public schools from paying motor fuel tax for fuel consumed by buses.
- Supports legislation restricting any political subdivision from abating existing taxes or re-directing potentially new taxes to another subdivision.
- Supports legislation preventing further erosion of and shifting of tax burdens from business to individual taxpayers forcing school districts to adjust levies upward to recover revenues lost due to the adverse decisions of the State Tax Commission.
- Supports legislation that would allow Missouri votes to amend the State Constitution to provide for a simple majority approval of public school general obligation bond issues.
- Supports legislation that would increase the bonding capacity to 20% to keep up with the growth and building costs under the current limitation of 15%.
- Supports increased funding for mandated increases in the minimum teacher’s salary program.
- Supports legislation for the extension of “25 and out” and the “2.55 factor after 31 years of service” plan designs as funded through the Public School Retirement System of Missouri.
- Opposes legislation removing the local board of education authority to set salaries/benefits for any member of the district staff.
- Supports the affordability/accessibility of healthcare.
- Oppose legislative/constitutional mandates that would interfere with the local board of education’s efforts/responsibilities to operate the school district. (i.e. 65% solution, Taxpayer Bills of Rights).
- Opposes legislation creating any new property tax relief programs by freezing, reducing, limiting, eliminating or exempting the current property tax base.
- Supports 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.
- Supports legislation to expend the prohibition of punitive damages against political subdivisions; Extension of Sovereign Immunity protection to all employees and volunteers of political subdivisions, and to Reverse the consequences of the Schoemhl Decision.
- Supports legislation that would mandate 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.)
- Supports legislation removing school districts from prevailing wage requirements.
- Supports legislation that would prevent a school board member from filing for re-election if the required 16 hours of board training had not been completed within three years.
- Supports the maintenance of a strong Public School Employee Retirement System (PSRS/PEERS).
- Supports efforts to work with the IRS and the Missouri Office of Administration to ensure that all members of the Missouri Public School Retirement System holding a valid teacher certificate continue to be exempt from payment of Social Security Taxes.
- Opposes legislation that would require PSRS/PEERS to combine/consolidate in whole or part and/or asset investments with any or all of the other state retirement system.
- Opposes legislation that would restrict/remove the Board of Education’s local control of public school districts.
- Opposes legislation forcing non-voluntary school consolidation.
- Opposes legislation forcing non-voluntary open enrollment between school districts.
- Opposes legislation allowing state funding (tax dollars) in the form of vouchers/scholarships/tuition tax credits, for non-public schools.
- Opposes legislation restricting/changing the basic governance, policies and services provided by educational support organizations to the local school district (i.e. MSHSAA, MUSIC, etc.).
- Supports assessments to improve student achievement, but opposes the expansion of testing under NO Child Left Behind for grades 9 through 11.
- Supports the critical role that career and technical education plays in preparing rural students for the workforce and further education.
- Supports the expansion of the definition of a high-need school district to include rural school districts in addition to high-poverty districts, recognizing the unique staffing needs and shortages of geographically isolated districts.
- Supports maintaining E-Rate as an element of the Universal Service Fund.
- Supports the fulfillment of Congress’ promise of mandatory funding of IDEA at 40 percent of the National Average per Pupil Expenditure for every child in special education.
- Supports the reimbursement of rural districts for medical expenses attributed to Medicaid eligible students.
- Supports the use of poverty indicators in place of census poverty as the measure of student poverty within rural school districts.
- Supports the Formula Fairness Campaign to end Title I formula discrimination against disadvantaged rural students with the elimination of the “Number Weighting” provision.
- Supports the continuation as well as increased funding of the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP).
- Supports the continued funding of Title I dollars in meeting the needs of poor rural school districts.
- Supports fully funding of the authorized amounts promised under NCLB.
- Supports effort to work with the IRS and SSA to ensure that all members of the Missouri Public School Retirement System holding a valid teacher certificate remain exempt from Social Security taxes.
- Supports legislation to repeal the WEP and GPO provisions of Social Security.
- Opposes the use of Federal Funds to fund private schools through vouchers, scholarships, or tuition tax credits.
- Opposes the federal government issuing any un-funded mandates within education.
- Opposes legislation that would force mandatory Social Security for new teachers.
- Opposes mandates in the Child Nutrition Bill that would require school food service directors to be certified.