Gov. Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon visited Forsyth High School on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 to congratulate the school on achieving the state's A+ Schools designation, and to encourage students there to take advantage of two years of free tuition and academic fees at Missouri's community colleges. Read the release.
Gov. Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon today visited Forsyth High School to congratulate the school on achieving the state's A+ Schools designation, and to encourage students there to take advantage of two years of free tuition and academic fees at Missouri's community colleges.
"To compete and succeed in today's economy, a student's education must continue beyond high school graduation day," Gov. Nixon said. "Forsyth High's recognition as an A+ school, and its continued hard work and success, demonstrates that the students here are on the right path. My administration is committed to supporting them, their teachers and the Missouri A+ program so that more young people from this community can achieve their dream of a college education."
Under the A+ program, Missouri students can earn a scholarship to cover the cost of tuition and academic fees for two years at any public two-year community college or technical school in the state. To be eligible for the program, students must meet academic achievement, conduct and attendance requirements, and perform 50 hours of tutoring or mentoring service.
Since 1997, almost 125,000 high-achieving Missouri students have qualified for A+ scholarships, and more than 50,000 have taken advantage of those financial incentives for at least one semester. In total, Missouri students have received more than $250 million in A+ scholarships since 1997.
More than 360 public Missouri high schools have earned the A+ designation, including Forsyth, and more than 50 other schools that earned the designation in 2011.
During an extensive, multi-year designation process, schools seeking A+ status must develop strategies to address a number of key issues, including dropout prevention, student achievement and college and career preparation. Schools receive the A+ designation after review and final approval by the State Board of Education.
Participation by Missouri students in the A+ program continues to grow - up more than 4,200 in just two fiscal years. Projections for fiscal year 2012, which began in July 2011, estimate that 14,500 students will be taking advantage of the scholarships this year.
As a result of this increased participation, Gov. Nixon has secured additional funding to make sure that every eligible student is able to access this program. For fiscal year 2012, the budget signed by Governor Nixon makes more than $29 million available to fund the A+ program - up more than $7 million from the original fiscal year 2011.
"The A+ Program has been a real success for Missouri, and we will continue to make the investment necessary to help provide a college education for young people who are willing to work hard, play by the rules, and give back through volunteer tutoring," Gov. Nixon said.