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Douglas/Ozark Counties Unit of RTA Met August 19

The Douglas and Ozark Counties Retired Teachers and Other Public School Personnel met August 19 at Autumn’s Café for lunch. Those present were Virginia Parsley, Julane Williams, Betty Moore, Ida Mae Huse, Ruth Evans, Barbara Roberts, Kay Transano, Marie Bristol, Norma Stillings, and their guest speaker, Lyle Rowland, Missouri State Representative from the 155th District.

Lyle spoke about the veto session and the hope to override some of the Governor’s vetoes. Some issues of concern to him were a law requiring a 72 hour wait for an abortion, a bill that could help food pantries, the Right to Farm vote, a proposal to move the oversight of captive elk farming from the Conservation Commission to the Department of Agriculture. Lyle also talked about the proposed Amendment 3 coming up on the ballot in November. If that amendment should pass it would actually take control away from local boards and could be costly to the school districts to come up with new instruments to measure performance. Lyle said that the initiative petition was based upon a false assumption that you can’t fire a poor teacher. The concern is that children and their teachers should not be judged solely on the basis of their performance on tests. So much time is spent preparing for the MAP test as it is and teachers are already facing the requirements of the “Common Core” Standards.

Marie Bristol, president, talked about the “Each One Get One” Campaign to increase and maintain MRTA membership. She reminded the retirees to keep an account of volunteer hour of community service.  The MRTA Annual delegate assembly would be held September 10 with the Annual Meeting the next Day. Marie is to be the delegate. Carol Feiler and Ida Mae Huse were also planning to attend.

The group voted to make a $50 donation to the Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation in lieu of making a gift basket for the Silent Auction.

Norma Stillings presented “Marijuana Facts for Parents” from the Missouri Substance Abuse Prevention Network. Parents and the community need to be aware of the risky behaviors that may occur and the effects upon the adolescent brain from the use of marijuana.

Marie read a “Thank you” note from Rachel Swofford for the scholarship that was awarded to her this spring.

The next meeting will be held September 16 at Autumn’s Café. Former Ava teacher, Payree Short of Hospice Compassus, will be the guest speaker at that meeting.