Posted: Oct 21, 2013 7:23 PM by Rachel Wittel, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Oct 21, 2013 11:05 PM
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon proposed "substantially" increased funding for higher education to Missouri education leaders Monday afternoon.
Nixon did not specify how much he would increase funding for public colleges and universities but said the "foundation formula" will be fully funded by the end of his term.
"We want to make sure Missourians and the tax payers know that with additional dollars come additional responsibilities, and consequently, another reason to lay out the necessity to continue specificity, keep tuition down and [keep] performance funding as an important element to us as we move forward," Nixon said.
The governor said this step would not have been possible without those who supported him in vetoing House Bill 253.
"It was a defining moment for our state and the victory sent a clear message," Nixon said. "Here in Missouri, public education is a value. And when ideologues and extremists who don't share that value try to de-fund our schools, we fight back and we win."
Nixon proposed plans to train hundreds in mental health first aid, while also focusing on performance funding and boosting the need for scholarships and lower tuition costs.
"In historical context, the challenges facing higher education are significant and we need to continue up our game," Nixon said.
Nixon said both K-12 and higher education are the best economic development tools.