Springfield School Board Officially Opposes Amendment 3

Sep 17, 2014

Student in a classroom
Credit Elizabeth Albert / Flickr

The Springfield Public Schools Board of Education has unanimously adopted a resolution to officially oppose amendment 3 on the November ballot.  The amendment would change the way teachers are evaluated, compensated and employed in Missouri.

The Nixa Public Schools board passed a similar resolution in opposition of the amendment at its September 11 meeting. The SPS decision on Tuesday night came just hours after a local group voiced their concerns over the ballot initiative.

Here’s what the proposal will look like on the November ballot:

Official Ballot Title:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • require teachers to be evaluated by a standards based performance evaluation system for which each local school district must receive state approval to continue receiving state and local funding;
  • require teachers to be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data as part of the evaluation system;
  • require teachers to enter into contracts of three years or fewer with public school districts; and
  • prohibit teachers from organizing or collectively bargaining regarding the design and implementation of the teacher evaluation system?

Decisions by school districts regarding provisions allowed or required by this proposal and their implementation will influence the potential costs or savings impacting each district. Significant potential costs may be incurred by the state and/or the districts if new/additional evaluation instruments must be developed to satisfy the proposal’s performance evaluation requirements.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to require teachers to be evaluated by a standards based performance evaluation system. Each system must receive state approval in order for the local school district to continue receiving state and local funding. Teachers will be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data as part of the evaluation system. The amendment further requires teachers to enter into contracts of three years or fewer with public school districts, with exceptions. The amendment also prohibits teachers from organizing or collectively bargaining regarding the design and implementation of the teacher evaluation system.

A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding teacher contracts and performance evaluation systems.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

The resolution by Springfield Public Schools calls Amendment 3 a “poorly drafted and deeply flawed proposal, prepared without input from local school districts.”  According to the resolution, the amendment would have unintended consequences for the Springfield School District. 

School board president Dr. Denise Frederick says the amendment would erode local control of schools.  She says, it "would implement unfunded, state-mandated standardized tests, forcing school districts and taxpayers to bear the burden of the cost."

Supporters of the amendment announced last week they would no longer actively encourage Missourians to vote in favor of it.

Investor Rex Sinquefield financed the group behind the initiative.