Gov. Nixon Discusses Budget Plan for K-12 Education

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JEFFERSON CITY- Governor Nixon met with educators from across Missouri Wednesday to discuss his budget plan for elementary and secondary education for the 2015 fiscal year.

Nixon said he plans to start taking steps in 2015 toward completely funding the state's school funding formula by the time he leaves office in 2017. This could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.

The budget for the 2014 fiscal year allots $3.1 million for elementary and secondary education, which is a $66 million increase from the previous year. For the 2015 budget, Nixon wants to increase funding for public education to bring the state one step closer to a fully-funded state funding formula.

Nixon said another key goal is to provide greater access to early childhood education. Nixon could not give an answer to how much this would cost because he is still in the early stages of working out a budget with the state's budget director, Linda Luebbering.

Nixon once again attacked supporters of the income tax cut bill from the 2013 legislative session, House Bill 253. Nixon said in July, House Bill 253 could cut funding to schools by up to $692 million. The legislature failed to overturn his veto by 15 votes in the September veto session.

"Our battle to sustain my veto against House Bill 253 has been won," Nixon said, "but our fight can and will continue.  The mis-guided economic theories on which House Bill 253 were based, are still being tallied. It's supporters remain in the House and the Senate, and its supporters have millions more to spend."

Nixon also said that he wanted to change the transfer law that went into effect this summer for students in Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts to make it more efficient. The transfer law allowed students in these districts to move from their unaccredited schools at home to higher-performing schools, which ended up costing the schools the students transferred from millions of dollars in tuition.

Nixon said he does not plan to request a supplemental budget to change the transfer law in order to protect the counties from having to dissolve their school districts, and that he plans to watch it very closely.