MASA Legislative Priorities
The Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) represents the vast majority of school administrators serving public school districts in Missouri. The MASA Legislative Platform covers a multitude of issues that our members have identified which they support and oppose. While the subsequent pages detail these positions, the following three provisions represent MASA’s essential priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session.
Prioritizing Funding for Public Education: Missouri legislators have, in recent years, shown a commitment to fully funding our state’s foundation formula. For that, we are grateful. However, when the state encountered difficult economic times due to the pandemic, we saw significant withholds to the foundation formula, a substantive decrease in the school transportation categorical and a significant decrease in revenue to the Classroom Trust Fund (i.e., gaming). To date, public education has seen a reduction of approximately $350 million in state revenue ($246.6 million in withholds to the foundation formula for the June and July payments; a $78 million shortfall to the Classroom Trust Fund for FY 20; $15.9 million in withholds to the FY 20 Supplemental Budget for a prior year correction; and a $14.2 million reduction to the school transportation categorical). Although it is unknown if the economy will recover in time to increase revenue during the next legislative session, we urge legislators to make funding for public education a priority.
Increasing Accountability and Transparency for MOCAP Providers and Providing Public Schools Financial Flexibility for Virtual Enrollment Decisions: The pandemic has shown that a need for virtual instruction exists. However, the current structure we have in Missouri does not lend itself to proper oversight, accountability or transparency of MOCAP providers. As such, we urge DESE to undertake reforms by way of the rulemaking process to ensure MOCAP providers give school districts timely and meaningful student performance data. We further urge the Legislature to modify the current MOCAP statute to allow school districts greater financial flexibility in making virtual enrollment decisions as long as quality is still at the forefront. We also urge the Legislature to require MOCAP providers to provide greater financial transparency for all MOCAP expenditures.
Refocusing Priorities on Quality of Public Education: Continued access to a quality public education for all of Missouri’s children is critical to the future of our state. Over the past decade, efforts have increased to privatize public education via vouchers, voucher tax credits, virtual privatization and privately run charter schools. Open enrollment and other choice measures have also been advanced. These initiatives erode the foundation of a quality public education by diverting funding from local public schools. We believe the Legislature should prioritize the quality of public education and work with public school leaders to meet this challenge as opposed to the aforementioned harmful interferences which have proven to be ineffective, inefficient and unsustainable.
MASA Legislative Platform
Continuous improvement of the public education system being necessary to student success,
Resources being necessary to carry out the charge of public education in the state of Missouri,
September 26, 2020
Stiepleman Selected Missouri Superintendent of the Year
The Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) has announced the selection of Dr. Peter Stiepleman, Superintendent of Columbia Public Schools, as the 2021 Missouri Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Stiepleman was honored during the MSBA/MASA Annual Fall Conference held virtually on September 26, 2020.
Dr. Stiepleman stated, “It is an honor to be named the MASA Superintendent of the Year. I am focused on tackling educational issues related to poverty and equity in our public schools, and each of the positions I have held has deepened my commitment to public education. Our nation's children are depending on us to break cycles of generational poverty and public education is the key. It is a privilege to be the superintendent of the Columbia Public Schools.”
MASA Executive Director, Doug Hayter, stated, "Peter Stiepleman in not only an exemplary leader for the Columbia Public Schools, but he is also a leader and trusted voice for school superintendents in Missouri and beyond. During his tenure, his community and school district experienced change, student growth and other demographic and economic challenges. There is no question his leadership philosophy has helped guide the successes achieved in one of our state’s largest districts.”
Dr. Stiepleman is in his seventh year as Superintendent of the Columbia Public Schools. He started as a volunteer in Columbia Public Schools and the following year taught third grade at Derby Ridge Elementary School. He then served the Columbia Public Schools as the Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education; as Principal of West Boulevard Elementary School; as Assistant Principal, West Boulevard Elementary School; and as an Assistant Principal at Garfield Elementary School in the Oakland (California) Unified School District.
As CPS Superintendent, Dr. Stiepleman is focused on tackling educational issues related to poverty and equity in public schools.
“I believe that ordinary moments can be the most rewarding and that we miss out when we’re busy pursuing the extraordinary,” her said. “When it comes to attendance, discipline, and academic achievement, our kids will make progress because we are committed to them –we are one!”
Dr. Stiepleman shared that the Columbia Public Schools have an incredibly diverse student body, but only 14 percent of the staff identify as being teachers of color. Research shows it is important that children of color be taught by teachers who look like them and that it is important for all children to be taught by diverse educators. Knowing that the district was struggling to hire teachers of color, Dr. Stiepleman, the administrative team, and Board of Education with community member input and support, developed the CPS COMOEd Grow Our Own Teacher Development Program. Working with four local universities and colleges, as well as local businesses, the COMOEd program guarantees full-ride scholarships to a minimum of six future teachers of color each year. The district has effectively created a pipeline of locally educated, culturally competent teachers. Districts across the state are now emulating this program.
Communications is also central to Dr. Stiepleman’s leadership approach. Dr. Stiepleman is known to take every opportunity to share the district’s messages with the community. One such message, “A-E-O,” reflects the district mission to provide all students a means for achievement, enrichment and opportunity. Beyond key messages, Dr. Stiepleman actively engages students, parents, staff and community via regular dialogue sessions including meetings with past school leaders, civic organization presentations, and the annual World Café where the district hosts the community for an evening around a singular theme.
Dr. Stiepleman noted that when he began his tenure as the Columbia Public Schools’ superintendent, he spent much of his first year talking to the teaching staff about their needs. One topic that rose to the top was the importance of the evaluation process and receiving feedback on their instructional skills. Dr. Stiepleman held extensive conversations with every principal, assistant principal, coordinator, and director in order to develop means to create a consistent evaluative tool for authentic assessment.
The Missouri Association of School Administrators is pleased to honor Dr. Stiepleman as the 2021 Missouri Superintendent of the Year.
The Missouri Association of School Administrators is the statewide association of public school superintendents and central office administrators. MASA develops and supports effective public school leaders who positively impact the lives of Missouri students.
MASA and MOASBO are pleased to sponsor a series of workshops to provide school finance training for school administrators and others responsible for district finances. The workshops are designed primarily for individuals who are newly employed in their roles; however, veterans may also find the review and information valuable. For 2020-2021, all finance sessions will be at the MASA conference center in Jefferson City. (In-person sessions are limited to 30 individuals for social distancing purposes.) The registration fee is $60 per person for each session or all three sessions for $150. The registration fee includes all workshop handouts and lunch sponsored by OPAA! Food Management and American Fidelity Assurance. The workshops will be available live on the Internet and are free for all of those subscribed to the MASA Online Video Library. For more information on any of these workshops, please contact: Ann Ainsworth, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 573-638-4825. A complete registration form and other information appear on the back of this form.
Setting The Tax Rate
August 4, 2020 (Session will be 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon with lunch to follow)
MASA & MoASBO will offer a special workshop to asssist districts as they set their tax rate. Jason Hoffman, Chief Financial Officer for the Jefferson City School District, and a member representative from MASA, will walk participants through the process of completing the State Auditor forms. Presenters will discuss how to plan, advertise and conduct a tax rate hearing as well as suggest documents to provide at the hearing. (In-person sessions are limited to 30 individuals for social distancing purposes. This session is at capacity. Please sign up for the live online session.)
Evaluating The Budget
November 11, 2020 or November 12, 2020
(Session will begin at 11:30 a.m. and end by 3:00 p.m.)
This workshop will assist school administrators in identifying areas of budget concern and will provide an opportunity for general discussion about budgeting and other school finance topics. Jason Hoffman, Chief Financial Officer for the Jefferson City School District, a MASA finance expert (TBD), as well as DESE representatives, will lead the session. The session will also include a discussion of current and future formula funding issues as well as advice on how to identify potential problems in a district budget.
2021-22 Budget Development
March 10, 2021 or March 11, 2021
(Session will begin at 11:30 a.m. and end by 3:00 p.m.)
This workshop will provide assistance to school administrators as they begin the process of developing a budget for 2021-22. Jason Hoffman, Chief Financial Officer for the Jefferson City School District, a MASA member representative, as well as DESE representatives will lead the session. The focus of the session will be on identifying key areas of concern, estimating revenues and expenses, and a general discussion of budgeting basics. The Governor’s budget recommendations for education will be reviewed.