Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Greitens calls for increases in teacher pay, more access to advanced placement programs
That understanding starts with our young people. And it begins in our homes—and in our schools.
I think we will all agree that we have incredible young people here in the state of Missouri.
And yet, we have an education system that ranks near last in every measure that matters.
Our people have done their part. Missouri pays about the national average for its education system.
Yet even though we spend what the rest of the country spends on education, we rank 47th in starting teacher pay. We have great teachers, and I believe our great teachers deserve to be paid more.
And let me be perfectly clear: this administration is committed to protecting teachers’ pensions.
What we need to do is make sure that the money we spend finds its way into the classroom.
Over half of Missouri school districts do not offer a single Advanced Placement class. Over 200 of our 520 school districts did not have a single student in physics. Over 100 did not have a single student enrolled in chemistry.
We need to expand course access programs, so that every child in Missouri can use technology to get the education they need.
We also need to make sure that every child in Missouri, especially those kids with special needs, get a fair shot at the American Dream. I will work with you to implement Education Savings Accounts for children with special needs.
Education Savings Accounts are simple. Kids with special needs have IEPs, individualized education plans. With education savings accounts, parents are able to use their fair share of state education money in a way that fits with what their kids need.
Arizona was the first state in the country to try these accounts, and the program has been a success. Parents are much happier with their children’s educations, and children are able to get the kind of education that meets their needs.
We do best when we put power into the hands of parents and teachers at the local level.
Special needs families know their children best. And it is time we gave control back to those parents, to select the best possible education for their children.
Every kid in the state of Missouri—whether in a public school, private school, or homeschool—deserves a fair shot at the American Dream. And these are just a few of the things we can do to make that happen.