Gov. Jay Nixon today visited Grandview High School and Liberty High School to recognize the districts for their continued academic achievements.
"Investing in education is the best economic development tool there is," Gov. Nixon said. "The students at Grandview and Liberty High Schools, and throughout the Kansas City area, demonstrate a positive return on our investment with their solid test scores and high number of graduates going on to college. Kansas City is known for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and it's clear that the next generation of leaders can be found right here in our area high schools."
Recently, Grandview and Liberty both scored an impressive 93.6 percent on the 2013 Missouri School Improvement Program Annual Performance Report. Both districts also have attendance rates and a percentage of graduates who go onto a higher education institution that are above the state average according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
"Here in Grandview, we have top-notch teachers who focus on the academic achievement and personal development of each and every one of our students," said Dr. Ralph Teran, Grandview Schools Superintendent. "From our comprehensive early childhood programs to our innovative curriculums in engineering, science and technology at the high school level, we are providing our students with opportunities for success every step along the way. We have great schools because we have great kids, and I'm proud of their continued accomplishments."
"Liberty Public Schools helps prepare our students for success in college and their careers by providing them the skills and knowledge they need," said Dr. John Jungmann, Liberty Superintendent of Schools. "We have an outstanding community that cares deeply about the success of every child in our system. Our teachers, support staff, parents, families, and community leaders all work together to ensure that every student has the appropriate support to help them discover their voice and unlimited potential. I applaud everyone for their hard work in achieving this latest academic accomplishment and I look forward to our students earning many more."
The Governor also promoted Missouri's A+ Schools program, which provides scholarships to eligible students 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. Today, 99 percent of Missouri's public high school students are eligible to earn A+ Scholarships.
"By making new investments in higher education, providing record funding for our K-12 classrooms and helping more kids achieve the dream of college through the A+ program, we are continuing to make sure that every Missouri child has access to a quality education" Gov. Nixon said. "For Missouri to compete and win in today's global economy, we continue to make education a priority."
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.
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 included a $100 million increase for Missouri's K-12 classrooms.