NEWS RELEASE ISSUED AUGUST 26, 2013 BY THE OFFICE OF MISSOURI GOVERNOR JAY NIXON
Gov. Nixon joins teachers in expressing concerns on impact of House Bill 253 on schools
Cuts to public school budgets if House Bill 253 became law would be the equivalent of eliminating more than 5,000 teachers’ jobs
Jefferson city, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon issued the following statement regarding an analysis from the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Missouri National Education Association, and AFT-Missouri showing that House Bill 253 would jeopardize the jobs of thousands of Missouri teachers in public schools throughout the state. In fact, cuts to public school budgets if House Bill 253 became law would be the equivalent of eliminating between 5,438 and 9,411 teachers.
“This new report underscores the troubling impact House Bill 253 would have on our public schools and Missouri’s children,” Gov. Nixon said. “Forcing schools to lay off teachers and increase class sizes just so lawyers and lobbyists can get a tax cut will not move our state forward. That is why a growing coalition of Missourians in every corner of the state – including local businesses, chambers of commerce and lawmakers who initially supported this bill – are speaking out in support of public education and against House Bill 253.”
More than 100 organizations, including local school boards, chambers of commerce, businesses, non-profits, faith groups and local governments have come out in support of the Governor’s veto of House Bill 253, which would raise taxes on prescription drugs and force drastic cuts to public schools.
Data released last month by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at the request of the Missouri Association of School Administrators showed a breakdown of district funding levels under two scenarios if House Bill 253 becomes law. The first scenario showed the impact using the General Assembly’s fiscal note, which estimates a total cost of $692 million each year once the bill is fully implemented. The second scenario showed the impact using funding levels if the Federal Marketplace Fairness Act becomes law, which would increase the cost of House Bill 253 to $1.2 billion as early as the current fiscal year.
Findings published last month by the three leading independent credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s, also show the potential for serious risks to Missouri’s fiscal health and the state’s long-standing AAA credit rating if the Governor’s veto is overridden and House Bill 253 becomes law. A downgrade to the state’s credit rating would increase the interest paid on state and local bond issues.
The Governor’s veto message on House Bill 253 is available here.