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Legislators head to Lincoln University for education retreat

For the next two days, Missouri legislators from both chambers and both sides of the aisle will meet together at Lincoln University for a legislative retreat.

The retreat is to be hosted by the Hunt Institute, an affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy in North Carolina.

The Hunt Institute was formed in 2001 and is named after the former governor of North Carolina, James B. Hunt. The group mainly focuses on education issues and appeals to lawmakers from various states in order to improve education related policy.

This comes at the end of a very education centered year for Missouri legislators. Education legislation was at the forefront of bills from both chambers and education issues, like curriculum content and teacher pay, also took control in many discussions. Education was also a talking point in many of the midterm elections.

This week, the institute is coming to Jefferson City and hosting a range of Missouri lawmakers and leaders, many who have a background in education. Among the pack are Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Sen. Lauren Arthur, Sen. Karla Eslinger, and Rep. Chuck Basye.

Arthur was a middle school teacher before being elected to the legislature and also serves on the Joint Committee on Education and the Interim Committee on Education.

“I’m excited to take part in the 2022 Missouri Legislators Retreat and eager to join my colleagues in conversations centered on education,” said Arthur. “Our collaboration and partnership is essential to ensuring better outcomes for Missouri students.”

Eslinger also has a background in education, working as an elementary school teacher, a principal and a superintendent. She also served as an assistant commissioner of education for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Eslinger serves as the chairwoman of the Interim Committee on Education.

Basye is the outgoing chairman of the House Education Committee and has sponsored a range of education related legislation in the House.

“The Legislators Retreat provides a unique opportunity for policymakers to engage directly with leading education experts, and I’m grateful to The Hunt Institute for creating this space and instigating positive outcomes for our students,” said Basye.

The retreat will feature a variety of education and policy experts that will help create constructive dialogue around education issues.

According to the institute, topics will include “the importance of early childhood investment, family engagement, educator workforce development, evidence-based literacy instruction, and postsecondary attainment.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing these policymakers come together and discuss critical education issues facing Missouri,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, President & CEO of The Hunt Institute. “Having these conversations are a necessary step toward improving education across the country, and I’m grateful to our Missouri partners for their continued dedication to this work.”