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#MissouriMath Doesn’t Add Up


The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics says that “the underpinnings of everyday life, such as making purchases, choosing insurance or health plans, and planning fore retirement, all require mathematical competence. (source)

Mathematics is taught in Missouri’s K-12 schools and in its colleges and universities. From addition to calculus; statistics to econometrics, Missouri’s students take a wide range of math classes from kindergarten through college. Mathematical competence is emphasized in school, but it seems like the Missouri Legislature uses a different kind of math.

In Missouri schools, basic math looks something like this:

2 + 2 = 4

But in the Missouri Capitol, math looks more like this:

Tax Cut + Education Funding Needs = Budget Withholds & Program Cuts TWEET THIS

This is what we call #Missouri Math.

#MissouriMath is a different kind of math. It involves word problems, real world issues, and impact on real lives. In Jefferson City, math looks like this:

· Struggling Schools + Underfunded Foundation Formula = Introduction of New Tax Breaks. TWEET THIS
· #MissouriMath = Tax Cuts + Budget Restrictions = Impacts on Individual Students TWEET THIS
· #MissouriMath means that legislators can offer tax breaks without accounting for the income gaps they’ll create in the General Revenue.

And in #MissouriMath, those tax breaks = possible cuts to critical programs like the Missouri A+ Schools Program that have helped improve Missouri’s high school graduation rates, track at-risk students, and guide graduates toward appropriate community college and vocational school programs after high school graduation.

When it comes to public policy, #MissouriMath looks like this:

· #MissouriMath = The Passage of SB 509 = Individual Tax Cuts + (-Loss of Funding for Schools)
· #MissouriMath = Teachers working hours they might never be paid for TWEET THIS
· #Missouri Math = a $115 million increase the Foundation Formula = a Foundation Formula that’s still underfunded by nearly $500 million.

#MissouriMath is satirical at times, especially where property taxed-based education funding that leaves poor urban and rural schools far behind the funding levels of their wealthier suburban counterparts is concerned.

And unfortunately, #MissouriMath like this next equation are anything but satire:

#MissouriMath = (+1.5% Missouri Lottery Revenue) + (-7.4% Decrease in Lottery Contributions to Public Schools) + (6x increase in Lottery advertising spending on things like these T.V. commercials promoting the Lottery’s commitment to public education)

#MissouriMath doesn’t have to look like this—in fact, in our eyes, it should look something like this:

#TheRightMissouriMath = A Fully Funded Foundation Formula TWEET THIS
#TheRightMissouriMath = Investment in the Missouri A+ Schools Program TWEET THIS
#TheRightMissouriMath = Giving Our Youngest Learners a Great Start TWEET THIS
#TheRightMissouriMath = Money to Education not Transportation = Students Get Great Education in Home Districts

If you’re like the many Missouri parents who rely on Missouri’s public schools to prepare your child for college and career, rally together with Missouri Parent to let Missouri lawmakers know that #MissouriMath doesn’t add up.

To learn more about the funding and legislative issues facing public schools and impacting K-12 students in Missouri, bookmark the Missouri Parent Blog, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.



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