THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to our tireless members for calling, texting, emailing, and meeting with your legislators again and again and again – and to the legislators who took your calls and stood with us in support of our children and our public schools.
Though the session was brutal and disappointing on many fronts, our work together won some incredible battles that will help us retain public school teachers and leaders; ensure a better, safer learning environment for our children; and shore up important programs that would have been lost had it not been for you.
Among our most important victories:
$100-million increase in public school funding. While it is shameful that public schools weren’t fully funded, given all the money that was available, your voices were able to move a recalcitrant House Speaker Philip Gunn from $0 to $100-million. Senate Education Chair Dennis DeBar and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann were stalwart in their determination to fully fund the MAEP, and their leadership resulted in a unanimous Senate vote for full funding. Please be sure to thank them! Most representatives, too, reported that they would have voted for full funding had Gunn given them the opportunity. Many thanks are due all those who fought hard, behind the scenes and publicly, for our children!
Defeat of HB 1489, the anti-teacher, anti-public school bill that would have placed monstrous and unnecessary burdens and restrictions on teachers, limiting their teaching to only the topics, speakers, digital content, and other materials that were made available to parents a minimum of three days beforehand. The bill would have allowed parents to sue teachers personally for anything presented or even mentioned to students that was not available for parental review in advance. Kudos to House Education Chair Richard Bennett for refusing to bring up this bill in his committee. Speaker Gunn was relentless in his efforts to pass the measure, assigning it to various other committees, but our wonderful public school supporters helped us chase it down and kill it everywhere it went!
Defeat of several bills that would have weakened school immunization requirements and made school unsafe for medically fragile children and teachers.
Defeat of HB 1373, which would have diminished valuable instructional time, allowing students to leave campus for an hour a week of “moral or religious instruction” and not be counted absent. Speaker Gunn brought this one back from the dead at the end of the session and attempted to hold school funding hostage to its passage. But you and the Senate Education Committee weren’t having it. Committee members responded to your calls and came through for us again, and the bill met its second demise.
Statutory increase in per-student funding for Early Learning Collaboratives to no less than $2,500 for full-day and $1,250 for half-day programs. Legislators have appropriated at this level for several years, but this Legislature amended the law to require it moving forward.
Removal from HB 1671 of a $3-million increase in a funding stream for private schools that has no restrictions on expenditures and no reporting requirements.
Check the Voting Records section of our web site to see how each legislator voted on important education bills during each chamber’s floor action.
Please join us in thanking the legislators who came through for us over and over again. Our children’s lives will be better because of them. Many thanks to you, as well. Your efforts made such a difference!
Isn’t it crazy that we have to fight so hard to get reasonable funding for our children’s schools and to defeat such absurd legislation? We can do something about that…
As adults living in a representative democracy, we have a responsibility to elect legislators and state leaders who will invest in and protect our children’s futures. And we have a responsibility to ensure that those we elect know where we stand and represent us well on issues that affect our public schools.
The very best way to ensure good votes on public school legislation is to elect true supporters of public education. You did that in 2019, flipping a number of seats from anti-public school votes to pro-public school votes. We have a chance to make even more progress in the primary and general elections to be held later this year. Please get involved! There are countless ways to help out.
If you are willing to give a little of your time to ensure a public school-friendly legislature, send us an email with “I’m in!” and we will reach out to you with recommendations about how you can get involved. Email address: email@example.com
After all, our children are counting on us, and together, we’ve got this!