I hope all of you are aware that a very harmful issue will be on the November 4th ballot -- Constitutional Amendment 3. Click here for ballot language. The MRTA Legislative Committee has officially voted to oppose Amendment 3 and to join a coalition of education associations called Protect Our Local Schools. We must defeat Amendment 3!
The MRTA and Protect Our Local Schools Coalition message includes the following points....
These three key points are what our polling indicates need to be expressed to the general public. If passed, this amendment will:
- Take local control away from parents, teachers, and school districts and will place it in the hands of Jefferson City politicians.
- Force taxpayers to pay for government-mandated standardized tests, even though school funding is already underfunded by $600 million today. Estimated cost to implement Amendment 3 is ONE BILLION DOLLARS!!!
- Force teachers and administrators to administer a "one size fits all"test rather than focusing on actual instruction and learning. Each child is different!
Feel free to forward.
In addition, Amendment 3 is a "Constitutional Amendment." If passed, it cannot be changed by the Legislature, only by a vote of the people. If passed, this will change the Missouri State Constitution to also reflect the following:
- Teachers will be evaluated based on the results of students' test scores.
- Teachers will be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted, and paid based on the result of students' test scores.
- At their own expense, local school districts will be required to design tests to determine student progress. If these tests are not approved by DESE, state and local funding can be withheld.
- Educator contracts will not exceed 3 years
This Amendment will be harmful to our educator retirement systems as career teachers could be at risk with much reduced salaries. It is a fact that Rex Sinquefield and his supporters are in favor of 401(k) type pension plans over pension plans like ours (Defined Benefit). The passage of Amendment 3 will embolden them to come after the retirement systems. Everyone must work hard to defeat this Constitutional Amendment.
- Like MRTA on Facebook today. Most communications will be through Facebook. Protect Our Local Schools is also on Facebook, like them too!
- All school districts are to form a "Committee" with the purpose of organizing opposition to Amendment 3 and to "get out the vote" of educator friends and family. Contact your school district and offer to help with phone banks, yard signs, working the polls, etc. If your school district has not formed a "committee," please encourage them to do so and/or offer your MRTA Unit as the leaders. Every committee should have an MRTA member.
- Learn more about Amendment 3 at www.protectourlocalschools.com, a coalition of which MRTA is a contributing member.
- Contribute financially to the cause on-line or send check (click here). Billionaire Rex Sinquefield and his supporters of Amendment 3 will have unlimited financial resources, so the Protect Our Public Schools Coalition needs money to fight their efforts. Please consider a donation no matter how small. STRENGTH IN NUMBERS!
- Begin thinking about composing a Letter to the Editor from yourself and/or your MRTA Unit.
- Tell EVERYONE you know to Vote NO on Amendment 3!