September 12, 2013
Governor Nixon Visits Memphis to Congratulate SCR-I on Continued Academic Achievement
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon hoists a free throw as Cordie Kigar watches on. The governor challenged the SCR-I senior to a shooting contest to close out his special visit to the SCR-I district on September 5th.
Gov. Jay Nixon visited Scotland County R-1 High School on Thursday, September 5th to recognize the school district for its continued academic achievement and discuss his efforts to ensure every student in Missouri has access to a quality education.
"Great schools are a product of a strong, supportive network of parents, teachers, administrators, and the community," Gov. Nixon said. "I applaud the folks of Scotland County and their steadfast commitment to a good education for the students here. As Governor, I will continue to strengthen our public schools so that the next generation of Missourians can compete and win in a growing economy."
Recently, the Scotland County R-I School District scored a 91.1 percent on the 2013 Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) 2013 Annual Performance Report (APR). The district's attendance rate is consistently above the state average and last year the district's graduation rate was 97 percent, more than ten points above the state average.
Gov. Nixon has made public education in Missouri a top priority of his administration. Even during the height of the recession, Gov. Nixon worked across the aisle to balance the budget every year without raising taxes or making deep cuts to K-12 classrooms. Math and reading scores have increased on his watch and Missouri's high school graduation rate is now the eighth highest in the nation.
"The Scotland County R-1 School District is committed to preparing our students for success in a global society," said Ryan Bergeson, Superintendent. "Our talented teachers, committed parents, and supportive community work together to provide every student the opportunity to reach their full potential. I applaud our students and teachers for their academic achievement and I have confidence we will continue our great success."
The Governor also applauded the Scotland County R-I School District for earning Missouri's A+ designation, which allows students to apply for 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. Today, 99 percent of Missouri's public high school students are eligible to earn A+ Scholarships.
"It is more important than ever to maintain and grow quality schools for Missouri students for the sake of our economy and our state," Gov. Nixon said. "That's why my administration has made it a priority to expand our A+ Schools program, which gives students the opportunity to earn scholarships for two years of community college, tuition free. We must continue to support our public schools so that businesses know Missouri is home to graduates that are highly skilled and ready to work."
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.