Governor Jay Nixon says his budget for next year will expand funding for education for Missouri students of all ages.
Details, including dollar amounts, will have to wait for Monday’s State of the State address.
But the Democratic governor says he wants to increase funding for a state program that helps fund tuition at public and private preschools, lengthen the school year, and make more students eligible for community college and technical school scholarships.
Nixon says with state revenues improving, education is the best place to put additional resources.
“We’ve gotta love public education so much we’re going to keep improving it in the state,” Nixon said. “We owe it to our kids as we move forward in an evolving world marketplace to assist them.”
Nixon says he also plans to fund mental health training for educators in an effort to boost school safety.
Nixon says the training will allow teachers and other school staff to identify a student who might pose a threat in the future.
“We’re also going to work to restore some of those resource officers out into the law enforcement network, so that if people do need a placement, even if it’s a short placement to deal with a very tense situation, that those law enforcement partners won’t have to act alone,” Nixon said.
Nixon says he has yet to talk to Republicans, who control the Missouri General Assembly, about his new education plans. But he says education shouldn’t be political.
“This isn’t about being a Republican or a Democrat,” Nixon said. “As we’ve turned a corner in the economy, we have a few more resources to expand, I just want to make it clear to everybody in the Show-Me State the first beneficiary of additional dollars coming into the state should be the kids in our public schools systems.”