The chairman of the Missouri House Higher Education committee spoke to students and staff at Westminster College today about the future of higher education.
Representative Mike Thomson says that by 2025, 60 percent of Missouri’s workforce would need some kind of specialty training beyond a high school diploma. Although about 37 percent of Missouri residents have training beyond high school, Thomson said it is not enough to support the economy.
“We’re going to have to move up by something like three percent a year, and that is going to be monumental. It is going to be very difficult, but we will do what we can to encourage the policies and the practices that we need," he says.
Thomson added that Governor Jay Nixon has recommended that six million dollars be added to the A+ scholarship program and that nine million dollars be added to the Access Missouri scholarship program in the fiscal year 2015 budget. Thomson says that higher education funding from the state and national government has remained at the same level since the late 90s, raising the question of how college can remain affordable as living cost continues to increase.