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Your Opinion: Tax cut would harm education

Your Opinion: Tax cut would harm education

August 11th, 2013 by Luana Gifford, retired teacher, Eugene in News

Dear Editor:

Years of tight state budgets have forced the Cole R-5 Eugene and school districts throughout the state to make painful budget choices. Important programs for children and families including Parents as Teachers, summer school, and cuts in staff have suffered at a time when we are striving to increase student achievement.

Unfortunately, just as the economy begins to rebound and the state could begin to make up for lost ground, the General Assembly has passed a massive tax cut bill that will be disastrous for our children. Gov. Nixon has taken the correct action by vetoing this bill. However, it is possible the Legislature will attempt to override the veto in September.

The tax cuts contained in the bill will guarantee that the state never has sufficient revenue to live up to the funding level called for in the state's own school funding formula and most likely will result in further cuts to education in Missouri. Cole R-5 could lose somewhere between $168,771 and $292,439, then the responsibility of funding the school would shift to the local community to an even greater degree than it is now.

This shift will be felt not only in Cole R-5 Eugene but across the state from the St. Louis Public School District who's enrollment is 44,412 students to a district in the Bootheel, Delta C-7, with an enrollment of about 225 students.

Our children are our most precious resource and the tax cut passed by the Missouri Legislature puts their future at risk. Legislators should follow Gov. Nixon's lead in opposing this harmful legislation.