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Parson speaks at MSBA legislative day, touts keeping schools open

Gov. Mike Parson spoke to a rotunda full of Missouri school board members and staircase full of students at the Missouri School Board Association legislative day at the Capitol Monday afternoon.

Parson touted the record of Missouri’s schools staying open throughout the pandemic, and the role that Missouri’s school boards played in keeping those doors open. However, he said, “It’s not enough to simply keep the doors open, if half of our teachers quit in the first five years.”

Students showcasing their individual schools in the Capitol rotunda. (THE MISSOURI TIMES)

The crowd began a sustained applause after Parson told the group he wants lawmakers to increase the starting teacher wage to $38,000 per year. Currently, Missouri is near the bottom when it comes to teacher pay.

MSBA Executive Director Melissa Randol spoke about the frustration of some of the things being said about public schools.

“This is our opportunity, on days like today, to share the truth,” Randol said. 

Randol spoke about the importance of stressing the good things that are happening in Missouri public education while Parason spoke about the positive developments Missouri is making on early childhood development, dual credit A+ scholarships, and technical school funding.

The highlight of today’s event included the student showcase on the third floor rotunda. The showcase, including 15 schools from all over Missouri, had a mission of emphasizing important roles that public schools played in Missouri communities, presenting many accomplishments.