Contact: Scott Holste, (573) 751-0290
Channing Ansley, (573) 751-0290
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 16, 2014
Following successful effort to defeat special interest tax breaks, Gov. Nixon visits St. Louis Public Schools to discuss funding for public education
Governor applauds St. Louis City Schools for making solid progress on annual performance report
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Following the successful effort to defeat a package of special interest tax breaks, Gov. Jay Nixon today visited Bryan Hill Elementary in St. Louis to meet with students and discuss the importance of investing in public education.
Last week, the Governor announced the release of $143.6 million for local school districts and higher education institutions, including $3,175,778 for St. Louis Public Schools. In addition, local schools will be spared an additional $93 million cut to their Proposition C sales tax revenues that would have resulted from these tax breaks becoming law.
Reiterating his commitment to high academic standards and strong accountability, the Governor also applauded St. Louis City Schools for making solid progress on this year’s Annual Performance Report, increasing its score by 18 percentage points from 2013 to 2014 – one of the largest increases in the state. In all, 56.6 percent of Missouri school districts this year increased their scores on the new, more rigorous standards recently implemented by the state.
“Every Missouri student deserves a quality education that prepares them to compete in the global economy, and that’s we must continue to raise our game, with strong accountability and more rigorous standards,” Gov. Nixon said. “To reach this higher bar, our schools need resources and that’s why I appreciate the bipartisan work by the General Assembly last week to join us in prioritizing our students and schools.”
In June, Gov. Nixon vetoed bills containing more than a dozen special tax carve-outs and loopholes passed by the legislature in the final hours of the legislative session. These provisions, which were not accounted for by the General Assembly in their budget, would have reduced state and local revenues by more than $776 million annually, including $93 million annually from dedicated Proposition C sales tax revenues for local schools.
Over the summer, Gov. Nixon assembled a broad coalition of Missourians across the state including local elected officials, educators, business leaders, farmers and first responders who came together and spoke out in opposition to these special tax breaks.
The funds released last week by the Governor include $100,200,000 for the K-12 foundation formula and $43,396,533 in performance funding for the state’s public colleges and universities.
“These investments are the result of both parties coming together to do what’s right for our kids,” Gov. Nixon said. “I look forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly on this shared priority as we commit to fully funding our schools under the foundation formula.”
Last week, because the package of special interest tax breaks that would have reduced state revenues did not become law, the Governor also made available more than $22 million for mental health services, reimbursements to local governments, job training and other priorities.
Follow the Governor on Twitter @GovJayNixon