Gov. Matt Blunt (R) • Jan. 15
Vowing for the fourth straight year to keep education his “highest budget priority,” Gov. Blunt is proposing that state aid to K-12 schools be increased by $121 million next fiscal year and calling for quadrupling college-scholarship aid for needy students. The proposed increase is intended to make good on a new school funding formula begun in 2005. If lawmakers agree to the increase, state aid to schools will rise next fiscal year by 4 percent, to $2.96 billion. The governor also wants to spend more to train Advanced Placement teachers in math and science, expand after-school programs, and equip 300 classrooms with state-of-the-art technology for teaching advanced math and science. His $8.8 billion overall state budget proposal also calls for boosting services for children with autism and extending health insurance to more low-income children. The calls for increasing spending reflect, in part, a $508 million surplus carried over from last year.
A version of this article appeared in the January 23, 2008 edition of Education Week