Shelby County R-IV Board of Ed. opposed to Senate Bill 55

The Shelby County R-IV Board of Education voted unanimously to oppose Missouri Senate Bill 55.  Please read the Resolution below.  Senate Bill 55 is sponsored by the NE MO State Senator Cindy O'Laughlin.  SB 55 will take massive amounts of state tax dollars away from public schools, by funneling our tax dollars to private schools in St. Louis, newly formed charter schools in St. Louis and Kansas City, as well as to out of state virtual school companies.

The vast majority of students in NE Missouri go to school in high performing public schools that rely on state tax dollars for funding.  The result of SB 55 would be to take  tax dollars away from our public schools, creating a greater burden on our local community to support student learning in our schools.

Missouri public schools already rank among the bottom 5 states in the US for funding from the state, and in the top 5 in the US in the amount of taxes local communities pay to support their schools.


RESOLUTION

Whereas Cindy O’Laughlin and other legislators are sponsoring Senate Bill 55 and other legislation regarding public education of students in Missouri,
Whereas Shelby County R-IV School District, lying within Senate District 18 is interested in the welfare of student education in Missouri,
Whereas Senate Bill 55 and other similar bills both within the Missouri State Senate and the Missouri House of Representatives are harmful to public education,
Whereas the Shelby County R-IV Board of Education is acting on its own accord as elected officials with a public school district and does not necessarily represent all members of his or her respective Board of Education and school district,
Be it resolved by the undersigned Board of Education Members, that we strongly oppose Senate Bill 55 and other similar legislation regarding changes to public education in Missouri for the following reasons,

1. Diversion of tax dollars in the form of education scholarships, vouchers, or tax credits for alternative forms of education such as homeschooling, virtual charter schools and charter schools, reduce the available funding for public school districts.
2. Diversion of tax dollars should not be considered when the Foundation Formula, transportation and early childhood education are not fully funded in any year.
3. Diversion of tax dollars should not occur without the same transparency, accountability and fairness that is required of a public school district.
4. Charter schools (virtual or traditional) should be governed by locally elected Boards and should be required to use certified teachers, meet accountability standards, and otherwise meet all of the same requirements as a public school district as a condition of receipt of any funding.
5. MOCAP, or any other form of virtual education, shall be required to use certified teachers, meet accountability standards, and otherwise meet all of the same requirements as a public school district as a condition of receipt of any funding.
6. Diversion of tax dollars to out of state vendors for any form of alternative, or non-public, education should not be allowed.
7. Open enrollment in rural Missouri school districts should not be allowed because of the chaos it creates with school transportation, school buildings, and staffing.
8. School Board members should not be subject to a recall because it is already difficult to find qualified Board members who will willingly volunteer their time to make tough decisions that are in the best interest of students.
9. Local Boards of Education should be allowed to develop their own policies in concert with local homeschool parents or groups that allow homeschool students to participate in school district events while maintaining the same accountability as public school students.

Signed this 10th day of February, 2021, by:

Shelby County Board of Education
Dr. Jim Foster, President; Mr. Scott Gough, Vice President; Mrs. Amy Harre; Mr. Kevin Glover; Mr. Darin Eleazarraraz; Mr. Kendel Wood; Mrs. Tina Dovin