Gov. Jay Nixon today visited Scott City High School to recognize the district for its continued academic excellence and announce significant progress toward his goal of giving every student in Missouri the opportunity to earn an A+ Scholarship.
Scott City High School was one of 118 schools to receive the A+ Schools designation earlier this month, which will allow students there to earn A+ Scholarships for two years of tuition and fees at any of Missouri's community colleges. In January, Gov. Nixon set a goal of giving every student in the state the opportunity to earn an A+ Scholarship. With this announcement, 266 schools have earned the A+ designation since Gov. Nixon took office and 99 percent of Missouri's public high school students will now have the opportunity to earn A+ Scholarships.
"Every student in Missouri should have access to an affordable college education, and on my watch Missouri has led the nation in holding down the cost of college tuition," Gov. Nixon said. "By expanding Missouri's successful A+ schools program, we are opening the doors of opportunity to even more students who can use these scholarships to enter the workforce debt free or go on to pursue a four-year degree. With the latest round of schools receiving the A+ designation, including Scott City High School, we are closer than ever to achieving my goal of making this opportunity available to every eligible student in the state."
Under the A+ program, Missouri students can earn a scholarship to cover the cost of tuition and academic fees for two years at any public two-year community college or technical school in the state. To be eligible for the program, students must meet academic achievement standards, conduct and attendance requirements, and perform 50 hours of tutoring or mentoring service.
"Here in Scott City, our teachers and staff are preparing students to succeed in college and careers," said Superintendent Diann Ulmer. "Our district has worked hard to achieve the A+ designation so that our students can get started on the path to a college degree, right away. This is a tremendous opportunity for the students at Scott City High School, and we are proud to be an A+ school."
Over the past four years, Missouri has led the nation in holding down the cost of college tuition. According to numbers compiled by The College Board, since the 2007-2008 school year, tuition and fees at Missouri's public four-year colleges and universities have increased just 5 percent, the least of any other state in the nation.
In addition to making funding available to expand and expedite the A+ designation to every public high school in the state, Gov. Nixon's recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2014 includes a $150 million increase for education at all levels: a $17 million increase for early childhood education, $34 million for higher education, and $100 million for Missouri's K-12 classrooms.