Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon came to Hannibal to tout the benefits of his “Good Schools, Good Jobs” plan, which he detailed during his State of the State address Tuesday night.
Under the governor’s plan the Hannibal public school district would see an additional $1.28 million.
“The great thing is the focus they’re going to be spending those dollars for more teachers, especially at the middle school to get smaller class sizes, for technology and a good, solid investment in expanding preschool opportunities,” said Nixon during a visit to Veterans Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon.
“I hope he can fulfill his promise,” said Superintendent Jill Janes, who plans to retire at the end of the school year. “The foundation formula hasn’t been (fully) funded for several years and we can use those resources for smaller class sizes, expanding our early childhood program, technology… There are numerous ways we can spend this money. I hope we’re able to fully fund the formula and the governor can do what he said he’s going to do.”
Overall, Nixon’s proposed budget includes an increase of $278 million for K-12 classrooms.
“As I told the kids here, when you’re talking about $270 million in K-12 education, that’s basically $5 for everybody in the state,” he said. “While $270 is a lot of money, $5 is something folks can afford and with the choices between improving public education in this state or giving people the opportunity to go out and get a couple more Happy Meals, my sense is the people of this state are behind improving education.”
Hannibal would not be the only local school district benefiting from the governor’s proposed increase in education funding. The additional revenue per district is: Bowling Green, $437,191; Canton, $180,407; Elsberry, $328,381; Lewis County, $356,059; Louisiana, $245,099; Marion County, $95,295; Monroe City, $72,763; North Shelby, $49,542; Palmyra, $403,275; Paris, $54,019; Pike County R-III, $52,161; Ralls County, $236,338; Shelby County R-IV, $260,731; Silex, $147,177; Van-Far, $218,632.
During a brief speech to Veterans students, Nixon said more will be expected of them in the future.
“The technology and curriculum schools like this are putting in front of kids is more challenging,” said the governor. “They also have to compete against kids all around the world for jobs in the future so it’s important they embrace this technology moving forward. I think especially at this school (Veterans Elementary), it is really trying to embrace higher standards and embrace challenging curriculum.
“If you want to keep your standards low, give everybody A’s and get out your rugs and take naps during class, that’s real easy to do. These (Veterans Elementary) kids aren’t going to get that luxury because this school board and administration are saying they want to compete worldwide.”
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