Ballot Issue Information

Posted Date: 1/10/2011

Ballot Issue Crisis Fund

Help turn back attacks on public education


With your help Missouri NEA can quickly and more effectively respond to public-education detractors. Review the Initiative Petition Timeline Flow Chart for a better understanding of how the initiative petition process works. Help protect the students in our schools from harmful out-of-state anti-public education agendas by contributing to the MNEA Ballot Issue Crisis Fund (pdf).

Why do we need a Ballot Issue Crisis Fund now?
There are numerous efforts to undermine public education and severely limit state spending underway in Missouri. Besides pushing these efforts in the legislature, anti-public education reformers are attempting to get them on the ballot through the initiative-petition process. Wealthy donors like Rex Sinquefield have been successful in using the process to roll back vital revenue mechanisms like the earnings tax in St. Louis and Kansas City and the mega sales tax proposal, which would devastate our public schools.

From where did the Ballot Issue Crisis Fund idea come?
In 2004-2005, MNEA’s Legal and Dues Task Force discussed the type of campaign it would take to deal with ballot issues that impact public education.  Task Force members recalled our efforts to defeat the Hancock II Amendment in 1994. It took unprecedented coalition work, large numbers of volunteers and $300,000 to fund our part of the campaign.  The Legal and Dues Task Force recommended that the MNEA Board of Directors establish a crisis fund to deal with ballot issues. The motion passed by the board in May 2005 called for voluntary donations in 2005-06.

On April 22, 2006, the MNEA Representative Assembly voted to fortify the fund by collecting $1 per month per member.  At each subsequent Representative Assembly, delegates vote on whether to retain the ballot issue crisis fund.  The fund has been funded every year since its implementation in 2006.  

Student and Retired members are encouraged to voluntarily donate to the crisis fund through continuing credit card contributions or one time giving. 

Who decides how the fund will be used?
All of the money in the crisis fund is used on ballot issue campaigns. These campaigns are usually done in coalition with many other groups. Each coalition group is expected to help fund the campaign. None of the money will be used for candidates, political parties, or MNEA day-to-day legislative efforts. The MNEA Board of Directors determines how and when the money should be spent. The Representative Assembly receives financial updates at the Fall and Spring meetings.

What happens if we don’t have a ballot issue in November?
The money collected during all membership years stays in the fund. If there is no imminent ballot issue threat or need to work proactively around, the fund will remain for the next subsequent ballot issue campaign.

How do I help?
Protect against harmful anti-public education ballot issues by contributing to the MNEA Ballot Issue Crisis Fund. Your local association may want to make a collective contribution. Just download and complete the Ballot Issue Crisis Fund Form (pdf) or contribute online. Mail to MNEA, 1810 E Elm Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

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