MOScout Daily Update: SBOE Policy Report - Rural/Urban Divide - Meet MadamPAC and more....

Driving the Day: Vandeven’s Policy Report

At this morning’s State Board of Education meeting the Commissioner’s Policy Committee will present recommendations to the State Board of Education.

This comes after the committee met in May and June to identify priorities and action items that align with Governor Mike Parson’s infrastructure and workforce development goals.  

The committee list reads as a who’s who among policy makers, business leaders and front-line educators.  It was chaired by Commissioner Margie Vandeven, and former Sen. David Pearce.  Other Committee Members: Secretary Jay Ashcroft, Kim Bailey (SBOE), Rep. Chuck Bayse, Rep. Doug Beck, Dr. Mark Bedell (KCPS), Steve Bowen (CCSSO), McClain Bryant Macklin (KC Civic Council), Dr. Don Claycomb (SBOE), Dr. Daniel Clemens, (North KC School District), Brian Crouse (MO Chamber), Jacqueline Erickson Russell (Kauffman), Kelly Garrett (KIPP St. Louis), Carol Hallquist (SBOE), Frank Killian (Richland R-1 School District), Darius Kirk (Riverview Gardens Senior High School), Commissioner Zora Mulligan (DHE), Kathy Osborn (RBC), Jim Owen (Missouri Employers Mutual), Shelly Parks (Missouri Teacher of the Year), Jim Pritchett (Rolla Senior High School), Linda Rallo (Aligned), Melissa Randol (MSBA), Susan Rupert (PTA Missouri), John Shikles (Office of Governor Mike Parson), Dr. Javaid Siddiqi (Hunt Institute), Dr. Peter Stiepleman (Columbia Public Schools), Rep. Kathryn Swan, Dr. Jeremy Tucker (Liberty School District), Senator Brian Williams, Phyliss Wolfram (Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education).

Among the topics covered in their recommendations…

•                     Building the Workforce through Early Childhood Education;

•                     Teacher Preparation, Recruitment, and Retention;

•                     Workforce Development & Tomorrow’s Economy;

•                     Innovative & Flexible School Structures; and

•                     Using Data Systems and Redesigning Accountability Systems.

See the recommendations here.

There are some bold ideas in here. Among the specific recommendations….

·         Explore options for creating a cohesive statewide early childhood system. Currently, funds are sent from the Child Care Development Fund within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the Missouri Department of Social Services. It is then subcontracted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to administer a portion of the funds to support early learning services.

·         Direct a portion of increased funds towards building and diversifying the early childhood workforce. This could take the form of creating a tax-credit or scholarship fund for early childhood educators looking to further their education or working with higher education institutions, particularly community colleges, to create early childhood education programs.

·         Rethink and restructure compensation systems so that teachers are compensated in a way that makes it possible for them to continue working with students. Some possible examples are: increased compensation for leadership responsibilities, student debt reimbursement and/or forgiveness programs, increased options for affordable access to quality childcare, longevity bonuses, and pay-for-performance compensation models.

·         Redesign accountability systems so that student success is measured based not only on traditional performance but also career credits, social emotional learning, and community service, among other metrics.

·         Allow greater flexibility for schools and districts to create sustainable structures that better prepare students for workforce needs. This could take the form of project-based learning, early colleges, profession-based learning opportunities, year-round school, or other innovative ideas.

·         In order to respond to the changing and differing needs of Missouri’s students, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) should give districts flexibility in creating different pathways and school structures… This may include teacher professional development and microcredentialing, innovative curriculums that emphasize soft skills, project-based learning, and a number of other initiatives that serve students’ individual needs.

·         Redesigning Accountability Systems… In order to incentivize districts to take advantage of the flexibilities available to them, the state must create an accountability system that rewards innovation while continuing to hold educators to a high standard. The accountability system should incorporate traditional rigorous measures such as literacy and numeracy, as well as innovative programs and hard to define elements such as school climate and social emotional competencies.


Urban-Rural Divide: Economics and Politics

Axios had a powerful report about the problems plaguing rural America.  See it here.

Many of the nation's current pathologies are taking a heavy toll on the majority-white population living in rural America, which was severely impacted by the opioid crisis and has dealt with falling populations, job losses and rising suicide rates.

Why it matters: The malaise and discontent that President Trump has tapped into goes beyond the racism we've seen over the past few weeks and includes anger at a changing world and frustration at dwindling opportunities close to home. These trends are further entrenching the rural-urban schism that came to light in the 2016 election.

The big picture: Political and economic power is shifting to the cities, and 20% of the population — 46 million people — is being left behind in the middle of America. These communities face increasingly difficult barriers to education, wealth and health…

The rural-urban divide will continue to play a central role in politics and elections for the next several years — unless and until rural America's population declines enough that its political power dwindles.


Meet MadamPAC

Madam for America is a new political action committee, organized last month, which has been soliciting folks for funds.  According to their website (see it here) they are “dedicated to identifying, recruiting, training and electing Black women to every level of government in the Midwest who believe in our agenda of criminal justice reform, quality housing, education and healthcare as well as economic equality, voting rights and supporting small businesses.” Dorothy McClendon is the treasurer of the PAC; Cee Cee Cole is the deputy treasurer.


Food for Thought

·         Governing Magazine questions if states are doing enough to protect against cyber attacks.  See it here“A spike in cyberattacks in recent months has left state and local governments reeling. Baltimore faces more than $18 million in losses following a May ransomware attack. Several Florida cities were hit in June. And Los Angeles police data was hacked in late July…  Both funding and finding cybersecurity experts have been an ongoing challenge.  Between 2016 and 2018, only four states added cybersecurity staff, according to a NASCIO report. Of the CISOs surveyed, 61 percent cited a “competency gap” in their staffs -- up from 56 percent when the question was asked in 2016. The average tenure for both a CIO and a CISO is about 30 months…”

·         Visual Capitalist thinks it’s only time until the big drug companies take over the marijuana trade.  See it here.



·         Press release: The Sixteenth Circuit Judicial Commission has met and selected a panel of three nominees for the circuit judge vacancy in Division 17 of the Jackson County circuit court created by the retirement of Judge Jack R. Grate. The nominees are: Jessica M. Agnelly, Cory L. Atkins, and Susan E. Long

·         Washington Post, continuing its reporting on the opioid epidemic, has a map where you can zoom in and see which pharmacies did the most traffic.  See it here.

·         In the large contributions (below), organized labor makes a statement with a $50K check on the day Nicole Galloway announces.

·         Also, in the large contributions, Rebecca Roeber’s campaign committee was terminated, with the proceeds donated to HRCC.

·         Post-Dispatch looks at the House 99 November special election.  See it here.  Unlike rural districts where Republicans are embracing President Donald Trump’s persona, the Republican in this “purple” district is keeping her distance.


Follow Up on Greitens Rodeo

One MOScouter tut-tuts my downplaying the likelihood of a Greitens entry… “This guy is going to Sikeston on a Saturday night just to mess with Parson? Seems like a lot of work to just needle a guy.  Look at his reports, he hired his advance guy from gov staff to be his body man six months ago, and the kid has been traveling the state to donor meetings with him….”


Follow-Up on Ashcroft Suit

One reader called to inform me that the News-Leader’s description of the RTW process in my blurb was incorrect.  Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s language was actually upheld by the appellate court.


eMailbag on House Floor Leader Race

From a Curtis Trent supporter: “Couple things about the fundraising element of the Floor Leader race… at least a partial explanation of Plocher’s money advantage to date: Plocher had more donations from trial attorneys in the 2018 cycle than any other House candidate…

Trent has been meeting with donors around the state about the importance of maintaining a strong Republican Party.  Last quarter he raised nearly $18,000, much more than any other Floor Leader candidate.  That’s an early indicator of how hard he’s working for the caucus…”


Help Wanted

IFF seeks Executive Director for Southern Region“Provides broad executive level oversight, leadership and management for IFF Southern Region (comprised of Missouri, Central and Southern Illinois, and Kansas activities) lending, real estate consulting and development activities. Manages IFF’s St. Louis and Kansas City offices and oversees the development of Southern Region annual plans and works in collaboration with Core Business Solutions and the Social Impact Accelerator Group to implement. Continually evaluates and documents the impact of the plan for communication to others… Primary relationship builder with the nonprofit, philanthropic, governmental and civic communities in the Southern Region with the primary purpose of leading business development efforts in the region. Develops relationships with the nonprofit sector broadly to build loan and real estate consulting business and help identify development opportunities…”  See the ad here.


Lobbyists Registrations

Danny Pfeifer, Alex Eaton, Rebecca Lohmann, and David Willis added EBC – Missouri LLC, and Shryne Group.

Jeffrey Altmann added Botannis Labs MO Corp.


$5K+ Contributions

Keep Government Accountable - $50,000 from United Auto Workers V Cap.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $13,661 from Committee to Elect Rebecca Roeber.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Kansas City Power & Light.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $15,000 from The Doe Run Company.

Healthcare For Missouri - $23,522 from The Fairness Project.



Happy birthdays to Edward Wildberger, and Aaron Baker.