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Your Opinion: Sustain veto to protect school funding

Your Opinion: Sustain veto to protect school funding

July 10th, 2013 by Amy Bledsoe, Maries County R-2 School Board member in News

Dear Editor:

Years of tight state budgets have forced Maries County R-2 and school districts throughout the state to make painful budget choices.

Important programs for children and families including Parents as Teachers, summer school, and others have suffered at a time when we are striving to increase student achievement.

A few years ago the board had to cut the ag program, increase class size, halt improvements in technology for our students, eliminate the school resource officer, put a hold on facility improvements, decrease bus routes which has led to over-crowed busses, and freeze staff salaries.

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. The responsibility of funding our schools likely would shift to local communities to an even greater degree.   

Our children are our most precious resource, and the tax cut passed by the Missouri Legislature puts their future at risk. Legislators should oppose any attempt to override Gov. Nixon's veto of this harmful bill.