Monday, August 26, 2013

Teacher organizations: HB 253 would cost thousands of teaching jobs

(This joint statement was just released by Missouri NEA, Missouri State Teachers Association, and American Federation of Teachers-Missouri)

Teachers across Missouri today spoke out against House Bill 253 after the Missouri National Education Association, AFT-Missouri and the Missouri State Teachers Association released an analysis showing that House Bill 253 would jeopardize the jobs of thousands of Missouri teachers in public schools throughout the state. In fact, cuts to public school budgets if House Bill 253 became law would be the equivalent of eliminating between 5,438 and 9,411 teachers.

"Missouri teachers are on the front lines of preparing our students to compete in the world-wide economy,” said Bruce Moe of the Missouri State Teachers Association. “In order to absorb the magnitude of cuts House Bill 253 would require, our schools would have to make some very tough choices – including cutting staff.  Now is not the time to turn our backs on our teachers and their students.”

“Study after study has shown that teachers are the most important influence on what students learn and how they develop,” said DeeAnn Aull of the Missouri National Education Association. “By drastically reducing the funding available for K-12 education, House Bill 253 would cause an increase in class size and limit resources available for the students.  Our members will continue to communicate with their representatives in the General Assembly that putting opportunities for students at risk in order to give tax breaks to wealthy Missourians and corporate special interests is short-sighted and wrong.”

“It’s simple: our students cannot succeed without quality teachers in our classrooms,” said Bob Quinn, executive director of AFT-Missouri.“Everyone can look back and remember that one teacher that really made a difference in their life, the one that inspired learning and helped to guide them along the path to a brighter future.  To take one of these incredible educators out of the classroom would be a great loss. To take thousands of them out of the classroom would be nothing short of a tragedy for our students and our state.  That’s why our members will continue to urge the General Assembly to continue Missouri’s commitment to a great education for every child, and to prevent these harmful cuts by sustaining the Governor’s veto of House Bill 253.”
House Bill 253, which Gov. Nixon vetoed in June, would reduce state revenues by nearly $800 million a year when fully implemented and as much as $1.2 billion this year when the Federal Marketplace Fairness Act becomes law.  The costly giveaways to wealthy lawyers, lobbyists and corporations in the bill would result in cuts to public schools of between $260 million and $450 million a year. In fact, the cuts to public school budgets if House Bill 253 became law would be the equivalent of eliminating between 5,438 and 9,411 teachers, based on an average teacher salary of $47,517.
A breakdown of potential job losses by district may be found at

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