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Teachers, pork farmers rally behind Koster

ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Pork Association announced their endorsement of Chris Koster for governor Thursday on the heels of a coalition of teachers declaring Republican opponent Eric Greitens “wrong for Missouri.”

“I am proud and deeply honored to receive the endorsement from Missouri’s pork producers,” Koster said. “The Missouri Pork Association is an outstanding advocate for our state’s pork industry and a leader in the promotion of agriculture. Together, we will continue to grow Missouri’s number one industry, and create more good paying jobs in rural towns across our state.”

The endorsement is the fifth in a string of agricultural group endorsements.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Democratic Party (MDP) released information about the “Teachers for Koster” coalition at a news conference in Jefferson City, carrying on the “Wrong for Missouri” torch.

“Having a governor who understands and supports public education is imperative. A strong leader, like Chris Koster, will pull the legislature with him in fully funding the foundation formula,” said Jennifer Black-Cone, a recently retired teacher from Columbia. “Eric Greitens thinks that the dramatic underfunding of schools is no problem, and clearly has no plans to address it. It’s time to stop playing political games with the funding for Missouri schools – Eric Greitens is wrong for Missouri.”

Coalition members are also members of educator organizations like the National Education Association or the American Federation of Teachers.

“We are committed to making fully funding education a key topic in this year’s gubernatorial contest,” said Beth Miller, a recently retired teacher from Jefferson City. “Chris Koster has consistently shown that he puts students and teachers first.  We need a leader that can bring people together and drive what needs to be done to fully fund the foundation formula. So we will be hitting the doors, phones, and airways to talk with Missourians about what’s at stake in this governor’s election and why Chris Koster is the only choice for Missouri.”

The teachers and MDP criticized Greitens for being silent on education policy and for not opposing SB86, which the party said cut $465 million from the Foundation Formula, by pointing to an answer Greitens gave at a May debate. 

Greitens was asked: Last week, the Governor vetoed a bill that he said would’ve lowered the funding for public schools and the formula that a lot of people said they don’t understand in the first place. The question is, do you support increased funding for education K-12 and higher education and if so, how would you pay for it?

“I got a fantastic education which created a foundation for my future,” Greitens answered. “Here in Missouri, we’re in a place now where only one in three of our fourth graders are reading at proficiency. So how do we address this problem? We need to focus on results.”

The party continued their education push, pointing to Greitens quotes from before and after the primary regarding education.