Letter to the Editor

Outcome of vote on Amendment No. 3 was clear -- No.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dear Editor

My educational background has taught me that we live in a representative democracy. The people elect representatives to federal, state, and local levels of government to represent them. Missouri State Senator Ed Emery (Rep., 31st Senatorial District) represents five (5) counties in Missouri. The counties include Barton, Vernon, Bates, Cass, and Henry.

Missouri voters soundly defeated Constitutional Amendment 3 this past November by nearly 70 percent of the vote. Amendment 3 did not pass in any county in the state. Statewide, the Amendment failed 1,100,628 votes (76.43 percent to 339,422 (23.57 percent votes in favor.

Constitutional Amendment 3 would have eroded local school board control. It would have been very expensive for districts to develop standards based evaluation systems. Teachers would have been required to teach to a test out of Jefferson City. Teacher tenure would have been severely limited. Let's look how Senator Emery's district voted.

(Barton County--18 percent for, 82 percent against) (Vernon County -- 22 percent for, 78 percent against) (Bates County -- 18 percent for, 82 percent against) (Cass County -- 26 percent for, 74 percent against) (Henry County -- 25 percent for, 75 percent against).

Should the vote of the people matter to Senator Emery? Senator Emery pre-filed a bill last December that resembles Amendment 3 in many ways (SB27). He did this one month after the solid defeat of Amendment 3. SB 27 basically is Amendment 3! SB 27 removes local control from School boards and would eliminate teacher tenure while requiring districts to base a teacher's pay on student performance with standardized testing. Yes, Amendment 3. It must also be said that St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefield and his groups pushed Amendment 3 spending millions of dollars.

I must ask this question who does Senator Emery Represent? The people who live in his district and elected him or billionaire Rex Sinquefield? Senator Emery, for democracy's sake withdraw SB 27 and listen to the will of the people you represent.

Walter Cochran