Moley to ConnectCASS
Rep. Chris Molendorp has been hired by ConnectCASS as their executive director. ConnectCASS is a 501 (c) (3) with the mission of providing leadership to enhance the whole health of every person in Cass County.
Molendorp has one year left in his term as state representative, which he will serve out. He had previously said that he wouldn’t be running for re-election.
Molendorp was chair of the Health Insurance Committee, and earned a reputation as a serious legislator willing to tackle tough issues. He sponsored the original health exchange legislation which initially passed the House unanimously before being savaged in the Senate as being compliant in the implementation of Obamacare.
The statement: “His depth of experience in health issues and stakeholder engagement, combined with his broad view of the needs of the region and connections to the business and healthcare community are invaluable additions to our organization. We look forward to working with him.”
It’s Election Day, though nothing’s up for election in most parts of Missouri. Turn-out will be critical. See the Missouri Accu-weather radar here. Spoiler: lots of rain.
The highest profile issue is the 20-year, half-cent sales tax increase in Jackson County to fund development of “translational research.” According to their 8-Day filing, the proponents’ campaign committee had raised $1.6 million to advance the issue.
Also on the ballot:
Buchanan County: sales tax of one-quarter of one percent for a period not to exceed ten years for the purpose of providing emergency ambulance services.
Clay County: approval of a new constitution.
Greene County: local use tax of 1.25%.
Superintendents Propose Alternative to Student Transfers
The Kansas City Star has an article today about a report from the Missouri Association of School Administrators proposing interventions into failing schools as an alternative to student transfers out of failing schools. Read it here.
The superintendents propose a four-tiered accreditation system for Missouri schools.
• Districts that are fully accredited overall would carry on without interventions.
• Those that score at a provisional level on the state’s annual report card would come under a thorough state review to develop improvement strategies. Students at schools within the district that are failing would be able to transfer to better-performing schools within the district.
• Districts that perform below the provisional level would be labeled “academically stressed.” Schools within the district that scored below the provisional level would come under the control of an “achievement district,” which would be controlled by a state-appointed board. The state could leave the local board in control of higher-achieving schools. But it would have the authority to take over all the schools.
• If a district was still academically stressed after five years, the district would be dissolved and its schools distributed to accredited districts.
Missouri’s accountability system is now providing detailed scoring not just at the district level but school by school. The superintendents want to use that information to focus interventions on buildings.
A district that is scored as academically stressed could be operating under two school boards — with the local board managing the accredited-level school buildings, and the achievement district board managing the low-performing schools.
But after five years, if all these attempts have failed to produce an accredited district, the district would lapse and the state would work with other districts to assume control of the buildings. The objective would always be to help children attend high-performing schools in their neighborhoods.
The superintendents are proposing that students that have already transferred under the law be allowed to continue in their new schools as transfer students, as long as they continue to reside in the unaccredited district. But the superintendents want to stop any new transfers under the law.
Cooperating School Districts Has New Name
The Cooperating School Districts of St. Louis have rebranded themselves as EducationPlus. See the new website here.
Apparently there was an incident at the Mizzou game over the weekend. Here’s Rep. Clem Smith’s statement:
“I am embarrassed and angry at the actions of those who booed as the oath of office was administered to new members of the Missouri National Guard at Saturday's football game between Mizzou and Tennessee. I attended the game, and the boos were clearly heard as the Guard members swore to ‘obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me.’
“At no point did university officials reprimand the crowd members for this inappropriate and unpatriotic act. Those crowd members disrespected the proud men and women of our nation's great military, the President of the United States and the upstanding citizens of Missouri. A public ceremony to honor those who volunteered to serve this nation and state is not an appropriate place for such displays.”
Follow-Up on Pop Vox Tax Lien
Pop Vox Communications owner, Kathryn Jamboretz says that the lien filing is an error, and her accountant is working to get it corrected.
State Revenues Inch Up
The release: “State Budget Director Linda Luebbering announced today that 2014 fiscal year-to-date net general revenue collections increased 2.5 percent compared to 2013, from $2.42 billion last year to $2.48 billion this year. Net general revenue collections for October 2013 increased by 1.7 percent compared to those for October 2012, from $522.0 million to $530.9 million.”
The Circuit Court of St. Louis County is accepting applications for the position of Family Court Commissioner. “The Court encourages qualified individuals to apply for the position. The qualifications are the same as a Circuit Judge. The applicant must be licensed to practice law in this state, be at least 30 years of age, be a citizen of the United States for at least 10 years, be a qualified voter of this state for at least the last 3 years and a resident of St. Louis County for at least one year.” See ad here.
CWA District 6 Political Education Committee - $20,600 from CWA COPE.
Stand Up Missouri - $5,750 from Wallace Management Co.
Citizens for Steve Stenger - $5,005 from McCulloch for Prosecutor Committee.
Notes on Money
The $5K from St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch follows his endorsement of the challenger, but Stenger really needs more of those hopefully from his new labor buddies.
Happy birthdays to Jessica Hodges, and Brad Ketcher.