Education topics were the focus of an April 3 legislative forum, sponsored by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District Citizens’ Advisory Committee and Business Roundtable. The event was attended by approximately 60 members of the community teams who met in small groups with individual members of the Missouri General Assembly.
Missouri legislators attending included Sen. Will Kraus, Rep. Mike Cierpiot, Rep. Gary Cross, Rep. Jeff Grisamore and Rep. Noel Torpey.
Topics discussed among the Citizens’ Advisory Committee and Business Roundtable members and the legislators included the student-transfer state statute, tax reform, the Missouri education budget as well as additional education topics. Members of the two groups’ Steering Committees worked together this spring to plan the meeting and also helped facilitate the small-group discussions.
Kent Kirby, chairperson of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee, kicked off the meeting with Bill Brown of the Business Roundtable Steering Committee wrapping up the small-group discussion topics. Dr. David McGehee, R-7 superintendent, shared the school district’s legislative platform, emphasizing several key elements. These included:
Support providing appropriations for fully funding the Foundation Formula.
Support legislation that annually reviews the effectiveness of tax credits and appropriates the funding based on the review.
Oppose any legislation that would reduce or divert revenue from the public schools, for example, scholarship or tuition tax credits, tuition tax deductions or vouchers.
Oppose legislation that authorizes open enrollment.
The consensus among Missouri education leaders is that transferring students out of unaccredited school districts is not in the best interest of all students and will not lead to improvement of unaccredited districts. We support a solution of support and early intervention.
For more information about the R-7 School District’s legislative platform, visit http://www.lsr7.org/district/2013-legislative-platform/. This web page also includes contact information for legislators as well as information about the district’s electronic newsletter focusing on legislative issues and advocacy.