Each fall the MAESP Legislative Committee, along with representatives
from each MAESP district, develops a proposed platform, based on members'
priorities, which is submitted to the MAESP Executive Committee for approval.
The Legislative Coordinating Committee developed
the 2008-09 platform. The Legislative Committee
2008 to finalize the platform; and the Executive Committee adopted the platform
Association of Elementary School Principals
MAESP LEGISLATIVE PLATFORM
The Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP) believes that public education is a cornerstone of American democracy and the elementary school is the foundation of all educational efforts.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Elementary principals advocate for the development of effective elementary and early childhood programs. Quality early childhood education has proven effective in preparing children to be successful upon entry to kindergarten. MAESP believes that quality early childhood education should be made available to all children through funded expansion of educational programs statewide. MAESP supports: (i) early learning through statewide developmentally appropriate early childhood education programs which are aligned with school district curriculum and which are fully funded by the State through additional appropriations; and (ii) increased funding for early childhood education programs, including the Parents as Teachers program, the Kindergarten Plus program, the Missouri Pre-School Project, and other early childhood education programs that have been proven to be effective.
SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
MAESP supports continued growth, enhancement and improvement of educational opportunities for all Missouri children, including children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The incidence rate of ASD among children is increasing at an alarming rate, and school districts must be adequately and appropriately prepared to meet the educational needs of these children.
MAESP supports a fully-funded comprehensive statewide system of early identification, intervention, training, treatment and services for children with special needs, including ASD, to enhance the educational opportunities available, including but not limited to: state funded training for early childhood educators; expansion of early childhood services; and development and dissemination of best practices for effective educational assessments and interventions.
STATE OF THE ART PUBLIC SCHOOLS
MAESP believes that all students must be provided access to state-of-the-art public schools to best prepare them for post-secondary life, whether it is higher education or the work force.
ASSISTANCE FOR PROVISIONALLY ACCREDITED AND UNACCREDITED SCHOOLS
- Establishing a state fund to support full day kindergarten for all school age children.
- Financial incentives for summer school and tutoring programs for students who perform below grade level.
- Adequate and equitable funding for public schools to meet all state and federal program requirements.
- Increasing funding for transportation sufficient to meet state statutory obligations and to assist with increasing fuel costs.
- Reducing the cost of school transportation through tax exemptions on school bus fuel.
- Additional state appropriations to fund minimum teacher’s salaries.
- Increasing the bonding capacity of school districts to at least twenty percent of assessed valuation to support building and renovation needs.
- A simple majority vote to approve public school general obligation bonds.
- Increasing appropriations for technology needs.
- Increasing funding for Safe School grants and alternative education programs.
- Fully fund the implementation of vision examinations and screenings statewide.
MAESP believes that the State should provide assistance to provisionally accredited and unaccredited school districts to aid these districts in returning to full accreditation status. This assistance may be provided in a variety of forms, including but not limited to, additional resources and services, the assistance of public education experts, and financial assistance.
- Vouchers, tuition tax credits and other programs which divert resources from the public schools.
- Creating and expanding charter schools beyond those currently in existence.
- Mandating programs without appropriating funds needed to successfully implement and sustain the programs.
- Open enrollment for public school students or inter-district school choice without the consent of the affected school districts.
MAESP believes that employee participation is vital to the success of school districts, and employee involvement in various aspects of the decision making process is key to ensuring that districts operate effectively and efficiently. MAESP supports ensuring that elementary principals are represented as an interested party at all negotiation sessions between the administration and bargaining units, including having a voice representing administrators at all meetings but no vote. MAESP further supports allowing elementary principals to form representation units to bargain on their behalf.
MAESP believes that the State’s educational goals can best be achieved within the a governance system in which elected community representatives, working in partnership with principals, teachers, families, community members and other administrators, have final authority over policies and practices directly affecting teaching and learning.
- Strengthening and protecting local boards’ authority in decisions related to student enrollment, placement, discipline, promotion and other educational decisions.
- Protecting local boards’ authority regarding employment, assignment, professional development, compensation and termination of personnel.
- Protecting local boards’ authority to make educational, instructional, financial and administrative decisions on behalf of school districts.
- Amending Chapter 213, RSMo to eliminate claims of liability filed against individual employees and school board members when named parties in an employment action.
- Maintaining student safety through compartmentalization practices.
- Allowing school districts the option of moving to a four-day school week while retaining the current annual hour requirement of 1044 hours with a minimum of 142 school days.
- Forced consolidation of school districts.
- Limitations on the ability of school districts to seek civil, equitable, judicial and/or other legal remedies.
MAESP supports modification of the circuit breaker law to increase the number of eligible participants but opposes property tax freezes and homestead exemptions unless protection of school district property tax revenues is guaranteed.
MAESP supports clarification of property tax laws to ensure that political subdivisions are allowed to continue levying the greater of the levy in effect in 1984 or the most recent voter approved levy.
Adopted December, 2008