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Nixon pledges full funding for higher education by end of term


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Calling it “the best possible investment the state can make,” Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that k-12 education would be full funded through by the end of his first term and pledged new money for higher education.

Nixon made the announcement before a group of more than 100 higher education leaders from across the state, pledging a host of new funding for programs related to job training, mental health and financial aid.

Nixon met with reporters after speaking
Nixon met with reporters after speaking

Nixon told the crowd that his FY2015 budget would have “substantial” increases in funding for higher education, but told reporters later he could not provide specifics.

“We’re continuing to watch the economy as it moves forward,” Nixon says. “We’ll be watching the September, October, November numbers and looking at projections down the line. Obviously we want to be very aggressive with that funding while at the same time making it clear to Missourians that with additional dollars comes additional responsibilities.”

Nixon began the remarks with a victory lap, thanking the education officials in the room for their support of his veto of HB 253, and chided the Republican majority who supported it for embracing “radical experiments masked as reform.” Nixon cited the state’s lowest-in-the-nation tuition increases and the expansion of the A-plus program as just a few of the recent education accomplishments of his administration.

Nixon, eyeing his legacy as governor, said “history sometimes has to come to us.” He told the crowd that he wanted history to remember the strides he and the state made for higher education during his time as governor.