Nixon signs bill providing record funding for K-12 classrooms

Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Sunday to provide record funding for public elementary and secondary classrooms during a visit to the American Legion Boys State of Missouri.

After delivering remarks, Nixon signed House Bill 2002 and engaged in a dialogue with Boys State delegates from across Missouri, according to a news release.

In his State of the State Address in January, Nixon called for record funding for Missouri’s elementary and secondary classrooms. The General Assembly joined the governor in these efforts by passing House Bill 2002, which includes the record level of funding.

The legislation signed by Nixon this will invest $3.009 billion in elementary and secondary classrooms during fiscal 2013.

“Strong public schools are critical for ensuring that our children can compete successfully for the careers of tomorrow,” Nixon stated in the release. “Because we’ve balanced our budget each year without raising taxes, we have the resources to make this record investment in our public school classrooms. Our commitment to public education is ensuring that more Missouri kids are graduating from high school prepared to succeed in college, in a career or in our armed forces, but we can’t stop now.

“Together, we’re going to keep managing our budget well, holding the line on taxes, and investing in public education so that all Missouri children have the chance to achieve their dreams.”

Because of Missouri’s ongoing commitment to public education, student performance across the state is increasing, according to the release. The percentage of students scoring at or above proficient on math, communications arts and reading exams increased again in 2011, with significant gains across minority populations. Enrollment at Missouri’s public colleges and universities also has surged over the past three years.

While Missouri is increasing its investment in public education, many other states are cutting education funding. While Missouri increased funding for public school classrooms in fiscal year, 30 other states provided less funding for public education than they did in fiscal 2008, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.