missouri capitol
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Missouri lawmakers have passed a budget that would restore Medicaid benefits cut a decade ago and boost spending on public education.

missouri capitol
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The Missouri Senate has endorsed a construction funding bill that includes projects on college campuses and for the Highway Patrol.

University of Missouri discontinues Mizzou Reads program

May 1, 2014
columns at university of missouri
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After 10 years, the University of Missouri is discontinuing its Mizzou Reads program due to a lack of faculty and staff participation.

Columbia College
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A Columbia College professor gave a generous gift to the Tradition Meets Tomorrow campaign today.

Criminal Justice professor Barry Langford gave a gift of $111,000 to the campaign. His contribution will fund the mock trial program which he has been a part of since its beginning in 1997.

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Missouri senators passed legislation that could pave the way for the state to dump new benchmarks for student achievement known as the Common Core Standards.

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Moberly Area Community College will offer benefits for domestic partners of full-time college employees.

missouri capitol
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A potential $600 million bonding plan for state buildings has passed the Missouri Senate.

missouri capitol
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State lawmakers return from their spring break today, and the Missouri House is preparing to consider a proposed state budget that partly ties education funding to the strength of the economy.

House Majority Leader John Diehl says debate will begin this week on the budget for the next fiscal year. The plan endorsed by the House Budget Committee would add $122 million to the state's $3 billion in basic school funding. But if state revenues meet more optimistic projections, then it would provide a $278 million increase for schools.

Missouri School for the Deaf gets first deaf leader

Mar 10, 2014
Ernest Garrett III

The Missouri School for the Deaf in Fulton will have its first deaf superintendent as of July 1 this year.

Missouri Capitol
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Missouri lawmakers have given initial approval to a mid-year budget plan that addresses funding shortfalls for schools and social services.

Chris Belcher
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Columbia Public Schools announced in an e-mail to staff Friday it decided on four final candidates to interview for the position of superintendent of schools. The Board of Education has not released the names of the candidates but will be interviewing them over several days to come.

state capitol
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Missouri senators have approved legislation that would control student transfers from the state's most troubled school districts.

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The chairman of the Missouri House Higher Education committee spoke to students and staff at Westminster College today about the future of higher education.

Explosives Ph.D. program to be nation's first

Feb 13, 2014
Missouri S&T seal
Sasikiran 10 / Wikimedia

Missouri S&T will begin planning their doctorate program in explosive engineering. The university is the first to have a program in the field after gaining approval from the Missouri Board of Higher Education this week.

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The Missouri Lottery has provided a larger-than-usual payment to public education because of stronger-than-usual sales.

computer keyboard
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The path to a high school equivalency certificate in Missouri is about to be rewired.

Starting in January the GED exam, which has been used in the state since the 1940s, will be replaced.  It’s a move driven by digital change and an age old consideration -- cost.

Keyboards replace pencils

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Missouri's unemployment rate declined in November while payrolls expanded by 15,000 jobs.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development reported Tuesday the jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent in November from 6.5 percent in October.

The leading gainer was educational and health services, which added 5,200 jobs last month. The construction sector grew by 2,300 and professional and business services increased by 2,000 jobs. The information, leisure and hospitality sectors each declined by 200 jobs.

missouri house floor
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A proposal to circumvent thousands of potential student transfers in the Kansas City area will be considered by the state legislature next year.

If passed, the proposal would allow local school districts to set class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios, and once reached, those districts could not be forced to accept transfer students from unaccredited school districts. The bill has been pre-filed by Democratic Senator Paul LeVota of Independence.

jay nixon
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Gov. Jay Nixon wants Missouri's universities to freeze undergraduate tuition next year while also proposing more state funding.

The governor says the budget he recommends next year will include an additional $36.7 million for public universities. The 5 percent funding increase would be distributed using a performance-based funding system.

Nixon announced the proposal Wednesday at Missouri State University in Springfield.

The governor called for a tuition freeze at four-year schools for Missouri undergraduates in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse, part 2: Immigrant communities have sprung up around the meatpacking plant in Garden City, Kan., and while change hasn't been easy, city leaders have built a strong grassroots network supporting and embracing the town’s cultural evolution and its youngest citizens.

GARDEN CITY, Kan. — Sister Janice Thome’s office is a 2003 brown Ford Focus with a backseat piled high with paperwork and a prayer book.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse, part 1: Attracted to stable jobs in the meatpacking industry, communities of immigrants are springing up across rural America. Many small, rural towns, however, struggle to provide much more than instruction.

It’s almost 9 a.m., and Noel Primary School teacher Erin McPherson is helping a group of Spanish-speaking students complete English language exercises. But it’s tough going.

Katie Link / KBIA

Leaders of the Columbia public school district plan to seek another $50 million bond issue in April, followed by new $40 million bond proposals every two years until 2020.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the $50 million bond issue on the April ballot will require a 4-cent tax increase. The subsequent $40 million bonds in 2016, 2018 and 2020 would require no tax increase.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has released just over half of the 400 million dollars he withheld earlier this year from Missouri’s current state budget.  215-million dollars will be divvied up among K-through-12 schools, higher education, mental health programs and specific programs for training health care professional in southwest Missouri.  Nixon released the money Thursday after Republican lawmakers on Wednesday failed to override his veto of a controversial tax cut bill.

Gov. Nixon visits Fairview Elementary

Sep 11, 2013
Tony Nochim / KBIA

Governor Jay Nixon visited Fairview Elementary in Columbia on Wednesday morning. Nixon went back to the school where his mother used to teach.

Nixon was at Fairview Elementary to applaud the academic success of the students.

“We put together a whole new kind of grade card called MSIP 5 and it’s designed to make sure that students are doing well in being challenged and takes it right down to each various school. Today, I’m proud to report that this school on a new grade card…scored 98.6 percent,” Nixon said.

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Missouri lawmakers plan to focus on teacher tenure this week.

joplin high school

The Joplin School District says it has had its highest graduation rate in years.

The Joplin Globe reports that about 87 percent of Joplin's class of 2013 graduated. The average rate throughout Missouri was about 88 percent.

Joplin's graduation rate was close to 79 percent in 2011 and 2012, and was down to 54 percent in 1996.

Superintendent C.J. Huff says the improved rate is the result of "strategic work," as well as support from teachers, principals, staff and others.

Missouri's only state-funded, two-year technical college is getting a new name. Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Thursday that will change the name of Linn State Technical College to the State Technical College of Missouri.

The name change for the central Missouri school will take effect July 1, 2014. The college offers certificates and associate degrees with an emphasis on industrial and technology programs.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

Missouri's education system will be the focus of a newly formed state House committee that will consider ways to improve outcomes and better prepare students for college and adulthood. The House Interim Committee on Education has scheduled its first meeting for next Thursday at the state Capitol. The panel will examine education issues during the summer and fall before lawmakers return in January for their next legislative session. Republican House member Steve Cookson of Poplar Bluff will lead the interim committee. House Speaker Tim Jones created the new education committee.

Although kids may not be in the classroom, Missouri educators are still working this summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. 

The National Education Association (NEA) is hosting a meeting July 1 through 5 to discuss pressing educational issues. Public school teachers, librarians, coaches and custodians are just some of the members of the Missouri NEA that are working to improve educational issues around Missouri. About 10,000 delegates from around the nation will be present at the NEA Representative Assembly this year.