Crowell wrote, "Both have used their respective positions to create new government programs that cost more than Career Ladder and now they advocate killing this proven program. Such actions send a terrible message to our teachers. Career Ladder is a proven program that has my full support."
Missouri teachers are the backbone of our schools and are vital to providing Missouri students a world-class education opportunity. Recently, there has been a lot of confusion over the future funding of an important professional development program called Career Ladder. Please know, I remain dedicated to and I am committed to supporting this program and funding into the future.
Career Ladder fosters teachers’ involvement within the communities they serve. Missouri's Teacher Career Ladder program gives supplemental pay to teachers for extra educational instruction to students, which is financed by the state and local school districts. Many teachers spend time before and after school tutoring students who need help, sponsoring clubs and other extracurricular organizations, and working to enhance classroom instruction and curriculum. Career Ladder provides teachers with the supplemental income they earn for the countless hours they spend in training, preparing for classes, and working to guarantee the success of each student. It is anticipated that continued state funding of Career Ladder would provide more than $710,000 to Southeast Missouri teachers next year. Career Ladder’s future became a focus when Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin) and Rep. Allen Icet (R-St. Louis County) sent a June 15, 2009 letter to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) warning that the program may not be fully funded for the 2009-2010 school year. Career Ladder is funded uniquely, with funding provided retroactively. For example, the current budget, which we crafted this past session, provided approximately $37 million for Career Ladder during the 2008-2009 school year.
I want to make clear that the letter sent by Sen. Nodler and Rep. Icet to DESE does not reflect my views on this matter, nor is it a statement of the General Assembly’s intention. Sen. Nodler and Rep. Icet were wrong to send the letter. Both have used their respective positions to create new government programs that cost more than Career Ladder and now they advocate killing this proven program. Such actions send a terrible message to our teachers. Career Ladder is a proven program that has my full support.