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Share Your Story

On a daily basis, it’s not uncommon to hear in the Missouri Capitol about how you as an educator don’t care about children. How you’re only interested in preserving the status quo rather than making progress. You’re only interested in pulling a pay check rather than educating students. Your local districts have failed so miserably that the state needs to send students to private and charter schools. But most of all, the underlying message is that you really don’t care about kids.

In the past, comments like this have been reserved for the hallways or offices and have been stated by the radical fringe. However, now these comments are said publicly on the floors of the Missouri House of Representatives and the Missouri Senate by the people that you have elected to represent you. And they have horror stories to back up their hate.

The idea that educators do not care about kids dominates the debate in Jefferson City as important policy decisions like vouchers, teacher tenure, charter schools, and open enrollment are being discussed at the end of this legislative session. To put it simply, public education is under attack from billionaire funded lobbyists, Washington D.C interested groups, and the legislators they have helped elect. To say legislators are being influenced by these outside interests is an understatement. Millions of campaign contributions from multimillionaires have aided those most interested in attacking your profession to make their way into influential positions in Jefferson City.

While there are many legislators that support public education, they are becoming more and more frightened to stand up for you. They are inundated with anti-educator rhetoric. Our supporters are shunned by their colleagues for supporting you. The debate in your State Capitol is no longer about individual issues like vouchers or fixing the foundation formula. The question is whether or not educators in the public school system care about the students they are educating.

Whether they are friend, foe or stranger, your elected leaders need to hear from you ASAP. We are urging you to get engaged. Tell your story. Your stories about what you are personally doing to make a difference in your students’ lives. Do you have a special relationship with a current or former student? Share it. Did you make a difference in a child’s life? Share that as well. The more personal the story, the greater impact you will have. Districts across the state are doing phenomenal work on meeting the needs of its students. Those stories need to be told to the people you have elected to decide the future of public education.

Contact your legislators today, tell them your story. Urge your colleagues and teachers to do the same. Once you have, you can also share your story with other educators. Share your story on a new Facebook page we have created.  The page is titled Missouri Educators: Making a Difference.  It can be accessed at this web address:  http://www.facebook.com/MissouriEducatorsMakingADifference.

We must keep these stories alive, our future depends on it.

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