Thursday, April 3, 2008

Why We Need a Democratic Majority

We are going to elect Jay Nixon, I'm certain of it. However, he provides common sense Missourians only with a veto pin. We need a Democratic majority to allow good laws to be passed - good laws like a pay increase for teachers as sponsored by Rep. Jason Holsman.
Missouri teacher pay hike in peril

By Lee Logan



JEFFERSON CITY - A state House committee approved a teacher pay boost Wednesday but not without including several hot-button issues that could put the plan in jeopardy.

The plan includes a cornucopia of stipends to reward teachers who increase test scores, gain certification to teach math or remain in school districts where educators are scarce. But several changes were shepherded through by Rep. Scott Muschany, the chairman of a committee that studies education matters.

The bill now includes: scholarships for autistic children who attend private schools; a provision that allows school districts to consider other factors besides experience for salary levels; and a portion that requires teachers to give yearly consent of payroll deductions for teacher associations.

The additions left some lawmakers angry.

"Scott Muschany hijacked my bill," said Rep. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, who authored the stipend package. Muschany, R-Frontenac, contends that Holsman had every opportunity to remove his name from the package and called those statements inflammatory. "There was no hijacking," he said. "He's been involved in every conversation on the bill."

Increasing teachers' pay is a key goal of House Speaker Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill. Concerning the future of his pet project, he would say only, "We have a lot of work to do." Regardless of the committee's changes, the plan's $50 million cost will face pushback from budget leaders who want to trim state spending during an economic downturn.

The committee received a copy of the new plan Tuesday night and debated it for about an hour before voting 6-1 to send it to the full House. Holsman said acting so quickly on a 105-page bill wasn't good government. Muschany said that he provided a breakdown of every new provision and that each element had already been considered previously by the committee.

Besides the process, Holsman also objected to the plan's merit pay elements. About $20 million was directed toward a performance-based stipend that he said encouraged competition among teachers and "breeds an environment where it's every man for himself." Holsman had drafted a schoolwide performance bonus that he called more teacher-friendly. Those bonuses were stripped from the bill.

The proposal "will not pass in its current form," Holsman predicted. He said he would try to alter the proposal before the House voted on it. After the hearing, the state's two large teacher organizations withdrew their support of the bill. "It's no longer a salary bill," said Mike Wood, the lobbyist for the Missouri State Teachers Association, which came up with the idea of a pay boost.

The Missouri National Education Association has long been neutral on the plan, arguing instead for a boost to the state's funding formula. The group is now opposed to the plan, Otto Fajen, the group's lobbyist said.

The bill is HB 2040 - 2430.


Anonymous said...

How is a freshman minority member even a part of the discussion on a major priority of the Speaker?

Does this guy not understand what minority means?

The Repubicans didn't even have to give him a hearing. He should just say thank you and move on.

Idealist said...

Hmm, is majority rule what we teach our children in civics class.

"Take your gruel and get to the back of the line."

Maybe, just maybe, Republican and Democratic children all deserve the best teachers that money can buy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:18 -

I'll answer your question. Holsman is a part of the discussion because he is a dude who can get things done, even as a member of the minority. He strongly believes that we should make every effort to improve public education, which includes paying our teachers salaries they can live on.

The question you should have asked is: Why in the hell did some idiot Republican destroy a significant piece of legislation that had bipartisan support? I'll answer that. Because Republicans like Muchasny aren't interested in passing good legislation; they would much rather play partisan games.

Bough is right. This is a great example of why we need to take back the General Assembly. And we need to start with Muchasny's seat.

Anonymous said...

Rep. Holsman - Go get 'em!

Anonymous said...

First off, its Muschaney, not Muchasny. You might want to spell the name right if you expect to take his seat. Which by the way happens to be a 60% Republican district, and that will be money well spent. Good idea smart guy. And Democrats want to know why they are in the minority.

Holsman is just another politcian who cries about process and good government when they dont get their way. Muschaney stated in the article he could have withdrawn his name from the bill. It sounds to me as if Representative Muschaney has been very generous in letting Rep. Holsman stay on the bill. Especially when he didn't even have to hear the bill in the first place since Holsman is a freshman in the minority.

I'm so tired of liberal Democrats who are nothing more than a mouth piece for the unions. So what the teacher unions don't like Mushcaney's version, too bad. What makes the teachers unions any different than Rex Sinquefeld?

Explain to me what's wrong with tax credits for kids with autism who want to attend private school? It looks to me like Muschaney improved the bill and Holsman should send him a thank you.

Anonymous said...

No, it is Muchasny. He has to earn the right to have his name spelled correctly.

One of the main problems with Muchasny's add-ons is, as Rep. Holsman said, it pits teachers against teachers. A dog-eat-dog environment in public schools is probably not a good thing. Competition is good, but not the zero sum competition that Muchasny proposes.

60% Republican district? Not this year.

Reading the Blogs Mike? said...

How do you ever think we will get a Democrat majority when the supposed head of the Jackson County Democrat Party, Mike Sanders, hires the scumbag Republican Jeff Roe to run negative campaigns against fellow Democrats?

That is just what has happened and the CCP should revoke Sanders' membership! The Missouri Democrat Party should revoke Sanders' delegate seat to the Convention in Denver.

Sanders' special assistant for dirty tricks, Calvin Williford, hired Axiom Strategies to run a negative campaign against former Democrat committee chair Phil LeVota. Williford drew about $20K from a Sanders' controlled committee called Integrity in Law Enforcement. Axiom Strategies is so scummy that even Kit Bond will not have anything to do with it.

So which is a bigger crime: 1. Not reading a stack of sales contracts on a home, or 2. Paying big money to a Republican consultant with no ethics?

Sanders you and your hood Calvin are not Democrats. You have never been Democrats. That's why you have funded secret mailings against well-liked Democrats like Scott Burnett and Al Reiderer. That is why you had to funnel funds through committees like the Integrity in Law Enforcement and the GAY PRIDE Democratic Club. It is why you have to have Calvin's very close friend as head of the GAY PRIDE club and the treasurer of the County Party.

With Sanders leading the party, we will only face one loss after another as Republican consultants like Roe grow rich.

This is wrong said...

Sanders sold himself as a reformer to the LGBT community even though everyon knew that Williford was a creep. He was a Gay man who had worked for Reagan -- who gave us Scalia.

If all of this is true, then Sanders needs to "accept Williford's resignation" or he needs to resign himself. Jeff Roe is unforgivable and unexplainable.

Anonymous said...

Sanders worked with Jeff Roe? Unbelievable. What the hell? Why does Jackson County always get shady and self interested leadership?

Ofcourse fortunately for Sanders the voting public at large doesn't know and won't care, which is exactly why we keep getting leaders like Shields, Sanders and the Funk.

Wake up folks!

Do we really want to be the party of Hillary Clinton and Mike Sanders? Two politicians whose inflated self-image clouds their judgment thus placing the greater good at risk?

We can do better.

Sanders attacked Obama on Mike Shanin's show for almost an hour. What good does that do for the democratic party? Now hiring Roe? I can't be the only one whose like WTF?

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