Missouri was the number one state in technology job growth in the nation last year, and good schools are vital to building on this momentum, Gov. Jay Nixon said today during a visit to Jackson Middle School in Cape Girardeau County. Gov. Nixon discussed his “Good Schools, Good Jobs” plan which will provide the resources to help the Jackson R-II School District expand technology in the classroom, hire quality teachers and fully fund the state’s K-12 foundation formula by Fiscal Year 2016.
“Here in southeast Missouri, communities support a strong public education system because they know that attracting good jobs starts with investing in good schools,” Gov. Nixon said. “In fact, Missouri was the number one state for technology job growth in the nation last year. My Good Schools, Good Jobs plan will help us build on this momentum by providing local schools like the ones here in Cape Girardeau County with the resources they need to prepare students for success in college and careers. As Missouri’s economy picks up steam and our unemployment rate continues to drop, it’s time to make a real investment in our students and our schools.”
Gov. Nixon’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal includes an increase of $278 million for K-12 classrooms, putting the state on a path to fully funding the foundation formula in two years. The K-12 foundation formula, passed into law in 2005, establishes the state’s funding level for K-12 schools. This would increase funding for Jackson R-II schools by more than $1.5 million which the district will use to improve and expand access to technology in the classroom, including providing training opportunities for teachers and staff. Additional funds would also be used to assist with staffing the new East Elementary School, which is currently under construction.
“From renovations and improvements at our high school, to our new elementary school opening in the fall of 2015, this is a community that supports our schools and invests in our students,” said Dr. Beth Emmendorfer, Jackson R-II Assistant Superintendent. “The Governor’s plan to help fund local schools like ours will ensure that students here in southeast Missouri graduate with the skills and education they need to go on to college and find a good job.”
Missouri was the fastest-growing state for technology employment in 2013, according to new analysis by Dice.com of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Missouri gained 2,700 tech positions in 2013, an increase of 8.4%, in the category of Professional and Business Services, Computer Systems design and Related Services.
Gov. Nixon has made public education in Missouri a top priority of his administration. Math and reading scores have increased on his watch and Missouri’s high school graduation rate is now the eighth highest in the nation. Over the past five years, Missouri has also led the nation in minimizing tuition increases at its public universities.