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Teachers Push To Boost Taxes

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Missouri's largest teachers' organization launched a petition drive this week to place on the November 1988 ballot a proposal to raise $400- million in state taxes for education.

According to the Missouri State Teachers Association, the proposal calls for a 0.75 percent increase in the sales tax and a 1 percent increase in the corporate-income tax. Ninety-five percent of the new revenues would be distributed to districts on a formula basis; the rest would support grant programs to lower pupil-teacher ratios in the early grades and improve mathematics and science instruction.

Gov. John Ashcroft has decided not to take a position on the petition drive because he believes it would be unwise to seek such a large tax boost in a general-election year, an aide said.

The Governor, however, has endorsed a proposal to lengthen the school year from 174 to 180 days. A section of the msta's ballot proposal also calls for adding six days to the school calendar.--tm

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