Advance kindergarteners sing at a patriotic event in the Advance gym. Reduced school funding means more teachers will be cut, and class sizes will increase--thus, resulting in less individual instruction for students.
Reposted from this week's North Stoddard Countian
Most of my readers know that I rarely enter the political field with my columns. I prefer to stay on the light side, writing about goats and silly incidents in life.
However, there are times when an issue strikes at my very heart, and I must speak out.
I taught in the public schools for 32 years in five different schools in two states. I believe in the public schools with all my heart, and it saddens me to see that some of our politicians--many in high state offices--do not share my faith in the institution which was established by our forefathers to educate the great masses of Americans, so they could vote wisely in our democratic way of life.
I have watched over the years as the guns of political pressure have been leveled at the walls of our schools, over and over.
Now we face another attack by those who wish to dupe us into believing that they are looking out for our own interests. They insist that Missouri House Bill #253 will put more money into our pockets and create jobs in our state. All our legislators have to do is let them play a little shell game, whereby our State income taxes will be cut, and our sales taxes will be increased.
Forces are at work far beyond our understanding, and big money is being spent to ensure that the vote goes their way.
Little do these forces care that their wicked manipulation of our tax system will devastate our local school systems. In fact, I have come to believe that this well-funded attack is just another side of the old familiar coin, designed to weaken and destroy public schools. Why they want to do this is beyond me.
I set myself a task to do some research on this mysterious House Bill 253, which our governor recently vetoed.
I discovered some staggering figures. Our own Advance R-IV is not the only school which will be severely impacted if Gov. Nixon's veto is overridden. The Lee's Summit School will lose almost $5 million in funding. Other schools face a similar fate.
The bill would cost more than $800 million across the state when fully phased in and has the potential to reduce state revenues by as much as $1.2 billion in the current fiscal year. It is the equivalent of closing all the state prisons, eliminating the Department of Mental Health or cutting funding to our colleges and universities.
Missouri is already a low-tax state. If low taxes were going to bring in businesses, wouldn't Missouri already be a business haven?
Why would anyone want to do this?
Yes, that is the question--Why? What are the true motives behind this grand scheme to "lower our taxes"?
House Bill 253 will benefit the wealthy. Under the bill, a family making $48,000 a year would receive just $6.00, and a family making $60,000 would receive a whopping $15.00.
In the meantime, lower and middle class families buying groceries, school supplies, and the necessities of life would pay higher sales taxes.
And, for all you seniors--who, like me--have lots of prescriptions, get this: House bill 253 eliminates the long-standing sales tax exemption on prescription medicine.
Isn't THAT peachy keen? Everybody loses, except some fat cat from St. Louis who has reportedly sunk $2 million into the organization "Grow Missouri," the group which is backing the governor's veto override.
I have no idea why the wolves are circling public education. It is beyond me that any patriotic American could be opposed to the education of our children, but we have to face the fact that these forces are powerful, and they are constantly creating ever new and creative ways to sting our schools and bring them down.
I pray that our State Representatives are dedicated enough to our well-being that they will rise above party affiliation and vote their conscience! Let our governor's veto of House Bill 253 stand!