WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Nixon Pushes for Preschool Money

Feb 4, 2013

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says he wants to make it easier for the youngest students in his state to get off to a good start in their educational carrers.

Governor Jay Nixon (D-MO) spoke to Canton R-V students about his goals for boosting education funding.

He is proposing an additional $17-million for early childhood education in his budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Nixon says he hopes the state funding serves as an incentive for school districts to add preschool.

"Most of the places we go that have preschool programs have a waiting list for them," says the Governor.  "THey are very popular so we just want to make sure there are resources for those schools to do them."

Nixon says he would not mandate preschool.

He says if the local community decides the program is worthwhile, it would have a better chance of succeeding.

The boost in funding also includes about $3.5-million for Early Head Start and about $3.5 million to help fund grants to help child care providers improve their services.

Governor Nixon also wants to put an additional $100-million into K-12 education and about $34-million into higher education.

He says the K-12 money would go towards extending the school year, modernizing classes and training teachers.