Friday, March 23, 2012

How Often Does He Vote The Opposite Of What He Says?

Grisamore did the same thing with the abused women. He said that he wanted to vote for them, but it would ruin his chances of furthering his political career.

Nixon met Wednesday with Rep. Jeff Grisamore, R-Lee's Summit, and Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst, R-Valley Park. In an interview, Grisamore said Nixon reiterated his "commendable concern" about the cuts and talked with them about how to reverse the decision.

"The governor made a passionate case for his concerns in this area," Grisamore said. Scharnhorst could not be reached for comment.

Grisamore, a member of the House Budget Committee and chairman of the Special Standing Committee on Disability Services, said he opposed the cuts during committee work. Once the committee had voted, Grisamore said he felt he had to stand with Chairman Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, because he had been able to reverse other decisions that would have cut services to the disabled.

This is much like what he did two years ago.

Jefferson City, MO— In a 6-5-1 vote Rep. Jeff Grisamore voted “present” allowing the passage of millions in cuts to domestic violence and sexual abuse programs. The amendment, which came before the appropriations committee on health, mental health and social services, called for a 50% reduction to state funding of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse programs.
“Missouri families are tired of politicians that say one thing while in district and do another in Jefferson City. Jeff Grisamore, through a simple “no” vote could have blocked $2.3 million from being taken away from women and children who are victims of some of the most heinous acts imaginable. Instead, after party pressure, he took the cowardly and reprehensible approach by voting “present”, allowing the cuts to pass and that is shameful,” said House Democratic Leader-elect, Representative Mike Talboy (D-Kansas City).

The cuts would take over $2.3 million from Domestic violence programs, which is over 50% of the budget. Even worse they would take over $1.6 million away from Children’s Division Field Staff which could lead to a loss of accreditation. The vote also zeroed out the line item for Women and Minority Health Programs and cut over $9.5 million from FQHC. In addition, the state Child Care Assistance program, which Grisamore says he supports and wishes to expand, had the line item of $13.6 million dollars completely cut. The zeroing out of those funds means Missouri loses out on $38 million of federal assistance to the program as well. All together the cuts would result in over $51 million taken away from these services.

“Despite what he says when a camera or reporter is around, Jeff Grisamore simply turns his back on women and children in this state when they are in their most vulnerable or traumatic times,” added Talboy.

“The bottom line is, as a Lee’s Summit resident and father, I know our community places children first. Jeff Grisamore can no longer come back to Lee’s Summit telling voters he cares about kids. If he did he would have chosen them over his party leaders and fought for the $51 million,” said House Democratic Campaign Committee Director Chris Moreno.
Then he went around pretending that he was fighting for these people.   If he hadn't voted present he wouldn't have needed to go in "crisis mode".

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – While his House and Senate colleagues returned home last Thursday, Rep. Jeff Grisamore, R-Lee’s Summit/Greenwood, stayed behind in crisis mode to address budget shortfalls affecting at risk women and children and those with physical and developmental disabilities.

Grisamore sits on the House Appropriations Committee for Health, Mental Health and Social Services. On Tuesday and Thursday, the committee considered budget cuts in the Departments of Social Services, Health and Senior Services and Mental Health. The committee’s budget recommendations have been referred to the House Budget Committee, which begins its deliberations this week.

Budget cuts proposed included reductions in state funding for domestic violence and sexual abuse programs and child care assistance, as well as women and minority health services and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

Grisamore held emergency meetings last Friday with Keith Schaefer, Director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH), Bernie Simons, Director of DMH’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, and Tec Chapman, Deputy Director of DMH’s Division of Developmental Disabilities.

From there, Grisamore went to the Department of Social Services (DSS) and met with Director Ron Levy and Deputy Director Brian Kinkaid. Discussions with both departments revolved around concerns with some of the cuts, especially a 50% reduction to funding for shelters for domestic violence and sexual abuse victims and proposed cuts in base funding for child care assistance that would put $38 million in federal funding at risk.

Next he tries to explain it as only he can.  He believes that the public is too stupid to figure this all out and if they do he calls them "political stalkers".

Dear Fellow Concerned Citizens,

In recent weeks I have received over 500 emails from constituents and Missourians concerned about proposed budget cuts to areas such as services for the developmentally disabled (DD), the Missouri Autism Waiver, comprehensive psychiatric services (CPS), alcohol and drug abuse (ADA) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

I have also received many e-mails expressing concern about proposed cuts to shelters for women and children victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse and health programs for women and children.
These are all areas of great concern to me as Hope House–a domestic violence shelter–is located in Lee’s Summit, much of which I represent. Hope House is actually located across the street from the 47th District that I represent.

As Chairman of the Missouri Children’s Services Commission, I have appointed MaryAnn Metheny, Director of Hope House, to head a subcommittee/working group of the Children’s Services Commission to address issues and recommendations relating to children affected by domestic violence.

I also serve on the Appropriations Committee for Health, Mental Health and Social Services that heard the mega-amendment that proposed these cuts. During our two days of hearings about the proposed cuts I strongly and repeatedly voiced my concern about the process and my opposition to these cuts, voting present instead of for the amendment.

I also strongly protested the process and advocated the need to improve it. Our appropriations committee overseas the three departments that will be most effected, and our most vulnerable citizens that will be most severely impacted by potential cuts—far more than in education. Yet, the education appropriations committee had a week longer to consider their recommendations to the Budget Committee.

A colleague from the other side of the aisle falsely asserted in a politically motivated press release that I could have voted no and stopped the aforementioned cuts. That is not true and represents a misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the appropriations and budget process.

He also falsely contended I was pressured to vote for the appropriations recommendations to the Budget Committee. I was not pressured at all and would not change my vote based on such influence. Those who know me understand my passion as a public servant, my commitment to serving constituents and helping those in need. I disdain much of what goes on in the political process.

I have been talking to the next likely Speaker of the House about my interest in being appointed as the next Chairman of the Appropriations Committee for Health, Mental Health and Social Services, which would automatically also place me on the Budget Committee. He has indicated his interest in making that happen.
While I voted present on the mega-amendment proposing the above cuts in protest to them and the process, I voted to refer the recommendations for House Bills 10 & 11 back to the Budget Committee, even though I disagreed with many elements of those recommendations I have outlined above.

To hold up the process would have simply resulted in the Budget Committee considering them anyway and could have jeopardized my future appointment as Chairman, a position through which I can do a lot more good for our most vulnerable citizens in the future. To vote present and no on two simply symbolic votes could have jeopardized all of that.

The appropriations committees are technically subcommitees of the Budget Committee. In the past our committees have simply made recommendations to the budget committee after months of public hearings and hearing from the departments we oversee.

This year the process was changed in that we were asked to submit amendments and actually vote on House Bills 10 and 11 in which appropriations for the Department of Social Services, the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Health and Senior Services are contained.

However, those committee votes did not actually result in a House Committee substitute being reported do pass to the Budget Committee. The committee votes only referred those recommendations back to the Budget Committee. In other words, our committee recommendations are not binding on the Budget Committee.

The House Budget Committee will begin actual markups on the state budget this Monday, March 15th. Therefore, I would urge you to email and call to communicate your concerns to the Budget Committee members before Monday and through the next two weeks as these budget bills head to the House floor.
The day after our appropriations committee referred their budget recommendations to the Budget Committee and my colleagues went home, I stayed behind in Jefferson City to have emergency meetings with the directors of Social Services, Health and Senior Services and the Commissioner of Mental Health and their deputy directors, as well as the Missouri Statewide Independent Living Council (MOSILC) and the Governor’s liaison for those departments–Social Services, Health and Senior Services and Mental Health.
You can read more about that at the following link:
My goal is to find ways to preserve and protect funding for at risk women and children, vulnerable seniors and individuals disabilities. My highest legislative priority is to fight and advocate for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.

Like many of my colleagues, I also am committed to boiler plate issues, like creating jobs and growing the economy, holding the line on taxes and balancing the budget. The problem in Jefferson City is that while a majority are committed to those things, few will fight for our most vulnerable citizens–at risk women and children, the frail and elderly, and–especially–individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.
I believe they should receive the first portions of government funding and, instead, often get the crumbs off the table, figuratively speaking. We need to create a paradigm shift that makes funding and services for our most vulnerable citizens the highest priority.

I have been working a year with a colleague on mine on a working plan in consultation with the Governor to pursue transformation of disabilities funding and services in Missouri that are evidence based, results oriented and can become best practice models in Missouri and the nation.

That initiative will address many of the concerns I have outlined above and you all have expressed. At the same time, we face harsh state budget realities. General Revenue for Missouri is down 12.7% in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. GR was down this January 22.4% compared to last January and 14.6% in February.

Total GR in FY2008 was $9.26 billion and this year it looks to be coming in at just over $7 billion. That loss of $2 billion in two years is catastrophic and is why the Governor has had to already cut nearly $800 million from the current budget, and he announced more cuts yesterday.

No one wants to see cuts of these kinds, yet politically partisan attackers will use them and misrepresent them for politically gain and portray those like myself as not caring about our most vulnerable, when in fact we do. I have devoted decades of my professional career serving at risk women and children here and overseas, as well as those with disabilities. Our seventh child of ten, a daugther, died from complications of a genetic disability.

At the same time, the state money that used to be there at much higher levels is not any longer—at least for now—in light of current economic realities. While that is where we stand fiscally as a state, I believe there is still much we can do to further prioritize and protect funding for our most vulnerable citizens. I am committed to that and work toward it every day and plan to do so for the rest of my career beyond term limits.

I hope this is helpful in addressing your concerns and I would encourage you all to be e-mailing and calling members of the budget committee in the coming days as they begin their mark ups on Monday, March 15th.
I would also encourage you to direct your concerns to House leadership and all House members as the budget moves to the House floor in the coming weeks. You can access contact information at Thank you for writing and sharing your concern to protect funding and services for our most vulnerable citizens.
Respectfully at your service,
Jeff Grisamore
State Representative, District 47
Missouri House of Representatives
State Capitol – Room 134
201 West Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101-6806
Office: 573.751.1456
Cell: 816.225.5695
Fax: 573.526.8184

Nixon Aske For GOP Help and Grisamore answers with more smoke and mirrors

Nixon asks for GOP help on blind benefit

JEFFERSON CITY — In a rare move, Gov. Jay Nixon sought Republican support this week to reverse a $28 million cut that ends a medical program for blind Missourians by bringing rank-and-file members to his office.

Since Nixon took office, Republican legislative leaders have often criticized him for being unwilling to work directly with lawmakers. Democrats have privately made similar complaints that the governor does not assist them in forging a common strategy against GOP initiatives.

Money from the cut to the medical program was shifted to state colleges and universities as part of a plan to maintain level funding for the schools.

Nixon met Wednesday with Rep. Jeff Grisamore, R-Lee's Summit, and Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst, R-Valley Park. In an interview, Grisamore said Nixon reiterated his "commendable concern" about the cuts and talked with them about how to reverse the decision.

"The governor made a passionate case for his concerns in this area," Grisamore said.
Scharnhorst could not be reached for comment.

Grisamore, a member of the House Budget Committee and chairman of the Special Standing Committee on Disability Services, said he opposed the cuts during committee work. Once the committee had voted, Grisamore said he felt he had to stand with Chairman Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, because he had been able to reverse other decisions that would have cut services to the disabled.

"We had many more victories than defeats," he said.

The closest vote came on the bill that eliminates medical coverage for 2,858 blind Missourians. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the measure, which passed on a 90-61 vote. All four Democrats who represent Boone County — Reps. Mary Still, Chris Kelly, Stephen Webber and Paul Quinn — voted against the bill. Rep. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico, voted in favor of the bill.

The bill contains $6 million for a "transitional benefit" to help some who will lose coverage.
Spokesman Scott Holste said Nixon met with Grisamore and Scharnhorst, "among others."
"I can also tell you that he is greatly disappointed that these two longtime supporters of Missourians with disabilities then voted to eliminate, for all intents and purposes, this vital program that has been in place to help needy blind people for more than 40 years," Holste said.

Grisamore said he suggested Nixon ask college and university presidents to help save the program. A letter to the Senate giving up some of the money might work, he said he told the governor.

But yesterday, University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe told the MU Faculty Council he is not planning to get into the politics of the budget. "We're not getting involved in where the source of funding is," he said. "If anyone asks, that's for legislators to decide, not for us to decide."

Wolfe did warn, though, that Nixon's proposal to cut higher education by 7.8 percent is still a possibility. With tuition increases, that cut would amount to a $47 million shortfall. In the worst-case scenario, Wolfe said, 245 jobs are on the chopping block.

Holste said today Nixon would seek to restore the funding by promoting the merits of the program.
"This issue is not about cutting a deal," Holste said. "It is about doing the right thing."

Tribune reporter Janese Silvey contributed to this story.
Reach Rudi Keller at 573-815-1709 or e-mail

Part Three: Ten Commandments For Educators Who Teach Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Part Three: Ten Commandments For Educators Who Teach Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

America Via Erica: Coxsackie-Athens High School Valedictory Speech 2010

America Via Erica: Coxsackie-Athens High School Valedictory Speech 2010

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, if you pass a test, or become valedictorian, didn't you learn something? Well, yes, you learned something, but not all that you could have. Perhaps, you only learned how to memorize names, places, and dates to later on forget in order to clear your mind for the next test. School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nine express interest in seat on R-7 school board - Lee's Summit Tribune - Lee's Summit News

Nine express interest in seat on R-7 school board - Lee's Summit Tribune - Lee's Summit News

Though Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education incumbents Patti Buie and Ron Baker are running unopposed in April, there will still be a new face on the school board soon.

At the Feb. 8 meeting, the board accepted a letter of resignation from Annette Braam, who purchased a home outside of the district in December 2011.
The district received nine letters of interest in the seat before its Feb. 27 deadline. The school board is planning to appoint Braam’s replacement on April 12. They will narrow the field through questionnaires, which the applicants will have until March 21 to return.

Missouri fails to check for standardized test cheating

Missouri fails to check for standardized test cheating

"If you don't look, you don't find," said Bob Schaeffer, public education director for FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing. "You are void of embarrassment by not asking tough questions."
Missouri education officials rely on a system of self-reporting that assumes teachers and administrators will come to the state when they know of possible abuse.
Under this approach, even when allegations of testing irregularities are reported — as they were 41 times in 2011 — the state and school districts rarely engage in the kind of rigorous statistical review many say is needed.
The state has also dismantled a program due to funding reductions that had sent inspectors randomly into schools to ensure tests are administered properly.
State education officials say looking for red flags would add thousands of dollars to the testing contract at a time when the state has cut department funding.
"There is a cost to that," said Sharon Hoge, an assistant commissioner at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. "We have tried to rely on self reports in our districts in Missouri. I'm not telling you that means there are not things possibly that are going on that we don't know about."

Read more: State News: Missouri fails to check for standardized test cheating (03/19/12) State News: Missouri fails to check for standardized test cheating (03/19/12)

Despite dozens of incidents of testing irregularities, Missouri education officials spend nothing on test fraud detection services and have dismantled a program that had sent inspectors randomly into schools to ensure tests were administered properly.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Show Me State Autism Advocate Wants on the School Board | International Coalition for Autism and All Abilities

Show Me State Autism Advocate Wants on the School Board | International Coalition for Autism and All Abilities

Sherri Tucker, renowned throughout Missouri as a strong special needs advocate and activist, is making her second run for School Board in Lee’s Summit R-7 district.
Nine hopefuls are vying for one seat on the Board. Tucker is the only candidate with experience and knowledge regarding the unique needs of students with different abilities.
While the other candidates have all the expected positive credentials (and the usual ties to the public school system), Tucker’s candidacy stands out with her experience as an advocate for students, responsible spending, and educational oversight.
In this story in the Lee’s Summit Journal, Tucker’s mention is listed as simply: “Sherri Tucker, co-founder of the Lee’s Summit Autism Support Group. Tucker ran for the R-7 school board in 2008, arguing that the district was not providing adequate services for its special-needs children.”
Of course, with limited space, the publication cannot mention all of the accomplishments and activities Ms. Tucker has been involved with over the years (see below this post), that many Missourians have become aware of. All of it has been centered on helping others, ensuring that families with special needs are included in every aspect of our culture, from the legislature on down to every day issues, but always putting education at the forefront.
Sherri Tucker became a friend of our President Emily Malabey several years ago. Malabey had this to say about Ms. Tucker:
“I first knew Sherri was going to be a great ally and friend when I heard she had both angered and impressed some powerful people, including a few legislators. Sherri is fearless. She is on a mission and is unafraid to fight for what’s right. Sherri is one of the most honest and sincere people I have met, which is unfortunately a rarity in this world. I know firsthand that Sherri is talented, has a sharp attention to detail, consistent vigilance, and an advocate’s heart. One of the few but important ways we can improve our education system is by getting advocates for students into the systems so we can improve them from within. Our School Boards and administrations throughout the nation are severely lacking in student advocacy or a working knowledge and understanding of the needs for diverse student populations. Of course this means to include students with different abilities who have been neglected for far too long in the education system (despite laws that are in place to ensure otherwise). Sherri Tucker will be one promising anchor in the system to help ensure the system works for all students.”
According to Malabey and several others in the community, people have been asking Sherri Tucker for several years to run for public office. According to autistic advocate Mel Johnson, “She wants to be on the School Board but she is perfectly capable of running for higher offices as well. She cares about the kids in our schools and that is the kind of person everyone wants on the Board.”
Some say that her candidacy “is probably scaring the heck out of the establishment.” But it shouldn’t. By all accounts from several individuals who know or have worked with Tucker, she is “fair, easy to work with and a smart, thoughtful individual.”
According to Dan Brown, father and advocate, if the Board members are decided fairly (by what you know and not simply who you know), Tucker should have a good chance to begin advocating for students from the position of School Board member.

Sherri Tucker Accomplishments and Credentials:
Secretary and President of DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America)
Placed two years in a row at State Competition and went to National Competition for DECA
Secretary of OEA (Office Education Association)
Placed at State Competition for OEA
Treasurer of the Women’s Choir
Judge for Kansas DECA State Competition
Former Member of Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Special Education Advisory Panel
Chairperson for the Monitoring Committee of the SEAP
President and Cofounder of Lee’s Summit Autism Support Group
Cofounder MOAFAA (Missouri Advocates for Families Affected by Autism)
Member of the Circles of Support
Organized annual Resource Night for families affected by autism (Over 100 families and over 30 service providers attended)
Parent of two Lee’s Summit High School graduates
Former Board Member of the Hawks Ridge Homeowner’s Association
Parent Educator and Advocate
Works with legislators for positive changes in education
Visits Jefferson City to personally discuss legislation with legislators
Speaks with National legislators to discuss positive changes that need to be made and legislation that needs to be written
Works with other groups in Missouri on education issues
Works with, and consults for, national special needs and educational organizations

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3 Responses to Show Me State Autism Advocate Wants on the School Board

  1. ICAA says:
    Thank you for your service Ms. Moore! We hope to see as many advocates as possible getting into the education systems’ hierarchy. It is one way to ensure we are “minding the gap” in education. Advocates like you and Ms. Tucker, as you pointed out, will help to ensure all students’ needs are put first. We at the ICAA believe that is what the education systems should be focused on. Please let us know how your Board run goes. Good luck to you and keep in touch.
  2. vernon p. says:
    maybe advocates are what we need. maybe they will protect the kids from protected teachers who abuse students like the ones shown here on the front page for instance.
    • Mrs. Rose Moore says:
      I am also running for School Board Trustee in the Clark County School District, here in Las Vegas, NV which is the 5th largest school district in the nation and number 50 at the bottom of the totem pole in education and graduation rate. I have been advocating for disabled kids for 38 years. We are the best to have on any School Board with the knowledge and experience we have, not just for the disabled but all children in the K-12 public school District. I congratulate Sherri Tucker for running and hope she wins.