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The Douglas and Ozark Counties Retired Teachers and Other School Personnel met Tuesday, August 14 at the Pizza Hut in Ava. Marie Bristol, RTA president welcomed those who attended. Ruth Evans gave the invocation before lunch. Lyle Rowland, Missouri State Representative for the newly drawn 155th District was the guest speaker.
Lyle was a vocational agriculture teacher for a number of years before becoming Principal and Superintendent in the Taneyville K-8 School District. His years of experience in education and of living on a farm in rural Missouri have given him a unique insight into the problems that educators in rural Missourians face. Lyle said that Missouri could expect a short fall in revenue due to the statewide drought. When farmers have to suffer losses of entire crops, it will have a negative effect on tax collections. Education funding may face even more cuts. Lyle had fought against several efforts this year that would have directly impacted active teachers and some that would have had a negative effect on cost of living increases for retirees in the future. Some measures that were proposed like open enrollment might have sounded good for St. Louis and Kansas City Schools, but could have been disastrous for small rural schools. Lyle promised that he would watch for those proposed bills that could impact rural education.
Membership Committee had no report, but the phone calls made to individuals reminding them of the August meeting had resulted in a good turn-out. The Community Service Committee report included a reminder to continue to save pop tabs. Marie also requested that RTA members save the “Box Tops for Education” from various products. These will be donated to the school. Informative committee chair Norma Stillings reported that there had been a successful Legislative Forum held in July for all those who were running for office. Sue Robirds reported that a Legislative Forum had been held in conjunction with a fund raising for the Senior Center in Gainesville. RTA members discussed the possibility of doing something like that in the future. Legislative Committee chair, Ida Mae Huse, reported that MRTA had stood in opposition to legislation that would have negatively impacted retirements for years to come. Marie Bristol mentioned that retirement checks bring in a lot of revenue to this area. Scholarship committee chair, Lena Pierce had given out three applications, at this time. Weston Loftin had turned in his application with all the documentation that was needed. She asked if this scholarship could be approved now. A motion to do so was made, seconded, and passed to award $200 to Michael Weston Loftin.
Marie announced the upcoming 2012 Region 10 Fall meeting would be held October 19 at Ozark. The theme will be “Carrying the Torch.” The cost for registration is $15, due October 15. Donations were being solicited for the MRTF Scholarship/Grant Fund. We could decide that issue in September.
Under new business. Marie reported that Terri Hall would be the delegate to the MRTA 2012 Delegate Assembly, September 11, Marie would be the alternate. Ida Mae Huse and Caryl Feiler would also attend the September meeting. Anyone wishing to attend may do so, but they will not be able to receive the discount for timely registration.
The next RTA meeting will be held September 18 at the Community Center in Ava with lunch at 11:30. The Heritage Singers will present the program for that meeting.
Those present at this meeting were Mary K. Davidson, David Davidson, Julane Williams, Betty Moore, Marie Bristol, Ruth Evans, Lena Pierce, Ida Mae Huse, Jane Elder, Norma Griffith, Sherry Bradshaw, Terri Hall, Norma Stillings, Donna Sherman, Virginia Parsley, Eva Painter, and the guest, Lyle Rowland.