We have recorded and tallied responses from a total of 2,326 constituents who returned my recent survey. The most responses (2,294) were received in reply to the question of whether a student should be able to transfer to another district if one better fits their needs. Of those, 68 percent agreed that they should, with 38 percent disagreeing. The lowest number of replies (1,628) came from the question of how Missouri should fund any increase in Medicaid. Medicaid expansion was rejected by 68 percent against the 24 percent in favor, and, if expanded, funding by increasing taxes was preferred by 33 percent; 16 percent of respondents favored cuts in education funding; and 40 percent selected neither but without agreement on another approach. Possibly the reason for the low number of responses on Medicaid funding was the nearly 3 to 1 opposition to any expansion.
Most survey questions supplied five possible choices: strongly agree, somewhat agree, no opinion, somewhat disagree, and strongly disagree. Combining the for and against positions produced the following results:
- Eliminating the state income tax
49 percent for – 39 percent against
75 percent for – 21 percent against
- Option to transfer to private school
76 percent for – 18 percent against
- Assigning a letter grade to school buildings
72 percent for – 18 percent against
- Eliminating teacher tenure
76 percent for – 22 percent against.
Much has been made of the 76 percent no vote on Amendment 3 last November, but survey results would suggest that was not a vote in support of tenure.
The other two questions asked whether Missouri entitlements were too high – 48 percent; too low – 15 percent; or about right – 37 percent; and who should be in control of choices regarding a child’s education? Parents, by 77 percent, were selected as the right place for control of education choices with local school boards coming in second at 16 percent. The full survey results will be posted soon on my Senate website. Thank you to all who took time to complete the survey and those who sent additional comments. The survey confirms that we do not all agree on everything, but there was significant agreement on some of the most controversial issues.
Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. We welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.