Monday, March 25, 2013

Tim Jones: Grading your schools and eliminating prevailing wage and we're just getting started

(One section of Speaker of the House Tim Jones' latest newsletter is devoted to the wonderful things House GOP members have done to benefit education.)

There are a myriad of opinions that are promoted in the halls of our Capitol aimed at bettering the education of our youth.  There can be little debate, however, over the fact that a parent should be informed about the performance of their child’s school.  
Rep. Swan introduced an innovative proposal that the House has already taken up and moved forward in her freshman year.  HB 388 is simple:  each school receives a letter grade just like their child.  Utilizing performance reports that are already published, schools will receive this easy to understand grading system that will allow parents to know how their school stacks up.  As a parent myself, it is no surprise this legislation was quickly adopted and is now in the Senate for their consideration.

Another important piece of legislation that the House has already weighed in on is HB 34, proposed by Rep. Guernsey.  This measure would allow certain school districts, with board approval, to be exempt from prevailing wage requirements on construction and maintenance costs.  Maintaining a quality environment for our children to learn is pivotal in our educational system.  Missouri’s schools should not have to be held hostage to extraordinary labor rates that do not reflect the true wage of their local economic environment. Just like the other prevailing wage proposal the House has passed, this reform will likewise encourage more projects to be undertaken (because greater funding will be available) along with the creation of more jobs.

I am looking forward to these bills moving forward in the Senate along with continued debate on the host of other education ideas that are being debated at the Capitol. 

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