Gov. Parson visits CTC, outlines funding

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson visited the Arcadia Valley Career Technology Center as part of an area tour emphasizing budget efforts and his office’s legislative priorities.

Gov. Mike Parson visited the Arcadia Valley Career-Technology Center last Thursday, June 28, to emphasize both his legislative priorities and the education funding in next year’s state budget. Traveling with him was First Lady Teresa Parson.

The governor was given a tour of the CTC and visited with staff and students.

In his short address, Gov. Parson lauded the efforts of State House Budget Committee Chair Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, State Senate Budget Committee Chair Dan Brown, and Rep. Chris Dinkins, who was also present for the visit.

“This,” Parson said, referring to the CTC, “is the future of Missouri. The young men and women from communities just like this will be our workforce of tomorrow.

“What we don’t want to keep doing is to graduate students with a large amount of debt and no place to go, or for them take a job that takes them forever to dig out of that hole.”

The two legislative priorities for his office, he said, is infrastructure and workforce development.

“Infrastructure - it is important to get it done and we must figure out a way to pay for it,” the governor said.  “I can’t sugar-coat it – it will cost us, but we must take care of our highways, our bridges, our airports, our rail and our ports across this state.”

He pushes workforce development because “I want to give these young men and women an opportunity to stay home to find a job.  I want to do everything I can do to make sure there are jobs available in the state so they don’t have to leave.”

He was making a tour of the area and visiting CTC specifically to highlight what he called a record investment in grades K through 12.

“The final budget will include a $99 million increase to achieve full funding for education,” Gov. Parson said. “Another important highlight is a $10 million increase for transportation which is essential for our rural districts.

“Rep. Dinkins led the way in funding for public placement which is crucial to the success of the Lesterville School District.

“We will be adding $250,000 for the new K through 3 Reading Assessment Program for Dyslexia diagnosis, $300,000 for full-funding of school safety grants, $8.3 million for early childhood special education, $1 million in career education federal funds through the Perkins grants, and $8.5 million for the First-Steps program.”

Parson said he was proud to support the budget leaders and the proposed legislation.

“We must continue to invest in our students to ensure our next generation is prepared to step into the workforce of tomorrow,” he said.