against Prop A
By Allen Palmeri
JEFFERSON CITY—While Proposition A is being touted as a sure way to benefit schools, many public educators and administrators reject the idea that Missouri voters ought to approve a measure that would annually increase gambling losses by millions of dollars.
These leaders have concluded there are better ways to support education than to vote “yes” on Nov. 4.
On Oct. 22, the NOonA.com campaign released a video advertisement, “School Officials Speak Out,” where school superintendents vigorously expressed their opposition to Prop A.It can be accessed at http:/nopropa.com/schoolofficials.html.
Representative of the comments made by school officials across Missouri against Prop A is a quotation in the Columbia Tribune by Jim Ritter, interim superintendent of Columbia Public Schools: “People need to understand it’s a gambling issue and not an education issue,” Ritter said. “Education is obviously being used to make it popular with the voters. But we don’t want people voting on it because they think this is an education issue. This is not being done for the benefit of education. Education might reap a benefit, but ultimately it’s about bringing more revenue to the gambling industry.”
Educators from Springfield, Nixa, Branson, Webb City, Independence, Columbia, Oak Ridge, Forsyth, Carthage, Logan-Rogersville, Republic, Taneyville, and Jackson have come out against Prop A.
Blaine Henningson, superintendent, Carthage School District, told the Joplin Globe, “This is a gambling initiative. Let’s call it what it is, let’s tell it straight up. If it passes, let it pass. But this sits wrong with me.”
NOonA.com supporters are encouraged by the lack of Prop A endorsements by the Missouri School Boards’ Association, the Missouri State Teachers Association, and the Missouri National Education Association, who are officially remaining neutral.
The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) is firmly against the expansion of gambling that Prop A represents, said MBC Interim Executive Director David Tolliver.