Ballots have been mailed to all PSRS/PEERS members for the election for two positions on the Public School & Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri Board of Trustees.
Missouri’s largest public education associations, Missouri State Teachers Association, Missouri National Education Association and the Missouri Association of School Administrators, have endorsed two highly qualified candidates – Dr. Melinda Moss and Darren Farmer – that will speak for all members of the system. At a time when public education faces efforts to divide educators, MSTA, MNEA and MASA recognize that public education has the strongest voice when we all work together. While the Missouri Retired Teachers Association has worked to divide current and retired teachers, both Dr. Moss and Farmer recognize that the health of the retirement systems can only be maintained while balancing the needs of future, current and retired education employees.
Your vote is important to elect a board that reflects the public education community. Teachers must continue to have a voice on the board. Darren Farmer is the ONLY classroom teacher on the ballot and has been an outspoken leader in a strong voice to support public school employees.
Dr. Moss’ background in finance will be a needed voice for all members of the system. Her experience managing finances and budgets will be important when it comes to managing your retirement. Missouri education professionals must ensure that the most qualified candidates are able to continue the work of the retirement system to recruit and retain highly qualified employees. Dr. Moss will continue the work of ensuring women in leadership in education.
Together Missouri education professionals can elect leaders that will continue to unite public education and work for all members of the PSRS/PEERS system. Ballots must be submitted or postmarked by May 8.
Please share this information with all employees in your district to ensure that Missouri teachers maintain their strong retirement system for education professionals.
The Missouri General Assembly will resume work next week. The legislature last met on April 8 to pass the Fiscal Year 2020 supplemental budget. The legislature will work to complete the 2021 budget. The House Budget Committee passed their version of the budget before the world was impacted by COVID-19. With the economic impact of the pandemic, there will be drastic changes to the state budget that could impact the K-12 budget as the House works on the budget before it is sent to the Senate for their consideration. The budget must be passed by Friday, May 8, giving the legislature a full week to consider other legislation before adjourning on May 15.
This week, Gov. Mike Parson made budget restrictions that included withholding $7 million in K-12 transportation funds in the current year. In addition to restricting the transportation funding, the governor is restricting $15.8 million that was included in the supplemental budget for a prior year formula correction to keep the state adequacy target at $6,375.
Legislative leaders in both chambers have stated the priority for the remaining time of the session will be spent working on the budget and any work that can help citizens and communities respond to the effects of the Coronavirus fallout. The Senate and House will have limited hearings on bills during the remainder of session. Neither the House nor Senate education committees have posted hearing notices for bills they may still consider. With the large amount of uncertainty surrounding Missouri’s economy and revenue situation, it is possible the legislature will pass a budget, but will be called back into special session later this summer by Gov. Parson to make adjustments to ensure a balanced budget.
There is still a lot of uncertainty as to what will happen in the shortened legislative session. To stay up to date on important education legislation, MSTA members can sign up for MSTA’s Rapid Response Program and quickly engage legislators. Many members have already made strong connections earlier in the session opposing harmful charter school expansion and their voices were heard. Member engagement makes a difference and staying involved in this uncertain time is critical to supporting public education.
To make sure you are one of the first to know about any important MSTA activities, text “MSTA” to 52886.