Thursday, September 13, 2007
Grisamore (47th) Weak on Public Education
Rep. Jeff Grisamore (47th) is weak on public education. He can co-sponsor a resolution calling for early childhood education, but falls short after that.
Rep. Grisamore represents much of Lee's Summit. I have many friends in Eastern Jackson County and they love their public schools. The Republicans in Jefferson City sure aren't helping out Lee's Summit's schools. Grisamore told the Missouri State Teachers Association he wanted to find sustainable funding for public schools. What has he done - nothing!! The Federal Government has said Missouri Schools are failing under No Child Left Behind. The Lee's Summit Journal has written about the difficulty in Lee's Summit schools complying with MAP tests and No Child Left Behind. The Lee's Summit School District's own web site discusses the confusion regarding the district receiving a less than desirable rating under No Child Left Behind.
The funding of public schools in Missouri and Lee's Summit is so dire that a new bond issuance was sought in Lee's Summit and this Q & A appears on the Lee's Summit web site.
Q: What percentage of the R-7 budget is funded by the state? How has this declined?
A: The impact of state losses on our local schools is apparent when examining the R-7 budget’s declining percentage of state funds. The Missouri Foundation Formula goal is to fund 50 percent of local school district operating budgets, although Lee’s Summit R-7 has never received close to 50 percent of its funding from the state. During the 1998-99 school year, state funding made up 35 percent of the R-7 operating budget. By the 2004-05 school year, state funding of R-7 schools dropped to 31 percent. Other categories of state aid appropriations have also been reduced significantly, impacting total state funding included in the R-7 budget. Across the state, the average percent of public school district revenue coming from state funding is almost 35 percent.
Grisamore has done little in Jefferson City, including ignoring his important work on the Environmental Committee and ignoring the Catholic church's call to restore Medicaid cuts to the poor and the sick children of our state. What has Grisamore done to improve funding from Missouri for Lee's Summit schools - nothing. He is a member of the majority party, so there is no excuses. Maybe we need a different party in the majority. Former Representative Bob Johnson continues to flirt with running for this seat. Run, Bob, Run.