As usual when it comes to proposals to send public money to private schools, the other area legislators, Rep. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, Rep. Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, Rep. Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, and Rep. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, were 100 percent for vouchers.
An amendment to the bill would have allowed parents of autistic children to receive public money to put their children in private schools. The 80-58 vote came on an amendment to strip that wording out of the teacher pay increase bill.
Though many of those who supported the voucher proposal also were purported to be for the teacher pay increase proposal for the bill (which mostly was designed for teachers in small rural districts and for teachers who were willing to work in poor districts including those in the inner city), at least one has spitefully indicated if he doesn't get his way on vouchers, the pay increase proposal is dead:
House Majority Leader Steven Tilley said he will not allow the legislation to be brought up for a vote, because he says the bill now only helps teachers — not children.
"That bill will not see the light of day," Tilley, R-Perryville, told The Associated Press.
Perhaps someone should tell Rep. Tilley that providing the pay to encourage experienced, qualified teachers to relocate to troubled inner-city schools does help children.
Providing better pay to keep qualified teachers from leaving education to take more lucrative positions in other fields also helps children.
When it comes right down to it, the only ones not helping children are Rep. Tilley and those who are so narrow-minded in their pursuit of voucher legislation that they cannot see the harm they are doing.