Missouri Is Falling Behind – Will the State Act?

Missouri is falling behind text over a fall background of Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Missouri is falling behind other states, and the legislature isn’t doing anything about it.

As the year comes to an end, national organizations are putting out reports of the best – and the worst – states on particular issues. Unfortunately, these reports don’t give Missouri a lot of bragging rights.

The state ranked in the bottom 10 on the following issues:

Child’s Rights

Missouri was one of four states this year to receive an F on child’s rights and show no signs of improvement. The report, conducted by Human Rights Watch, examined Missouri’s policies on corporal punishment in schools, child marriage, child labor and juvenile prison sentencing.

Early Childhood Education

Missouri is the fourth worst state in the country on access, quality, resources and economic support for early childhood education. Missouri was also the fourth worst on early childhood education quality.

Teacher Pay

The 2021-2022 NEA Rankings and Estimates report put Missouri teachers last in the nation for starting teacher pay.  And in case teachers are looking forward to salary improvements with tenure, that same report put Missouri teachers at 47th for average teacher pay.

School Funding – On Every Level

Missouri is 49 in the country for state funding of public schools. By relying primarily on local sources for public school funding, the Missouri state government is creating inequality between districts in high-income areas and districts in low-income areas. And Missouri ranked 46 in the country for state investment in higher education – down from 45 in the previous three years.

Freedom To Learn

Missouri took the “Number One” spot this year for school censorship – putting it at 50 in the nation for freedom to learn. The Missouri Legislature introduced 31 educational intimidation bills this year, after successfully banning more than 300 books during the previous year.

Health Care

Missouri’s health care system is the 8th worst in the country, based on accessibility, affordability, prevention, treatment, avoidable hospital use and costs and healthy lives. Missouri’s worst indicators – adults receiving dental care (45) and preventable hospitalizations (40).

Traffic And Infrastructure

Missouri was ranked as the state with the worst traffic and infrastructure and number 6 on worst states to drive in.

Where are our elected officials?

It’s clear Missouri is falling behind other states – so what are our elected officials doing about it?

While school kids flounder, teachers make pennies and families struggle to stay healthy, Missouri’s radical politicians are focused on all the wrong things: censoring books, attacking vulnerable kids and majority rule, and campaigning against cheaper prescription drugs.

Our elected officials should work for us and focus on the issues that matter most: fully funded schools, accessible health care and reliable infrastructure.

Demand change

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