Missouri House recommends $74 million K-12 budget increase

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri House of Representatives passed its budget for the 2016 fiscal year, including a $74.1 million increase to help fund K-12 education.

The increase in basic K-12 education still falls well short of the education foundation formula, the state's education budget plan. 

Gov. Jay Nixon recommended the budget allocate about $50 million increase to K-12 education, the house proposal exceeded that by $24.2 million.

Parent Kay Nsonso currently sends her eldest child to private school and plans to eventually send both children to public school once they reach the first grade.

She said she wants the money to be put to good use.

"Better technology, security for our children out there and more resources for the kids to learn," Nsonso said.

But not all are happy with the amount of money allocated toward the entirety of education.

Representative Stephen Webber (D-Columbia) put out a statement shortly after one part of the budget passed, criticizing the lack of funding in the budget for higher education which read:

"Our universities and colleges drive entrepreneurship and are the best job creation tools for Missouri. It's time to reject the business as usual approach of putting students and families last."

Susan Novinger worked in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri for more than 30 years. She supports the increase in K-12 education but said she understands the need for more funding with public universities.

"There's always a need for more in higher education," Novinger said. "It is disappointing they didn't get more funding than what they asked for."

Nsonso agreed that funding higher education is also important for the state.

"In the long run I would rather see it spread evenly from kindergarten all the way until university," Nsonso said.

Nsonso's husband Bernard also agreed and said he thought more money should go to ease tuition costs.

"Right now people are borrowing a lot of money to go to college, and it's been a problem to return all the money," Bernard Nsonso said. 

The budget proposal will now move to the Senate.

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