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MO Gov. Nixon promotes education funding proposal in Neosho - KOAM TV 7

MO Gov. Nixon promotes education funding proposal in Neosho

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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon visits Neosho to promote a higher education funding proposal.  The Governor wants to boost funding to an already established program that rewards performance by state colleges and universities.

But there are two sides to the proposal.

 Drew Young knows he and fellow higher education students could view Nixon's latest proposal as a win, because part of what college and university students look at before enrollment is...

"The affordability," says Young, a student at Crowder College in Neosho..

There's a chance higher education will remain affordable for many students.

Crowder College President Jennifer Methvin could view Nixon's proposal as a win, too, because part of Crowder College's state funding is based on performance, like student retention and graduation rates.  The same goes for other colleges and universities.

"We're very pleased with Crowder's performance.  We got 100 percent of our performance money last year," says Methvin.

Governor Nixon wants to increase performance funding across the board by $56 million.  

"Education is the best economic development tool that there is," says Nixon.

Assuming Crowder College meets 100% of the state's performance guidelines again this year, the Governor's proposal would drop an additional $300,000 into Crowder College's budget.

"That helps with increasing costs," says Methvin.  "You know, every year it costs more and more to do the things, even if you don't increase what you do."

But with more money comes a cost.

Governor Nixon says the state has already paid a price to allow this proposed increase in funding.

"We have continued to downsize central government.  We have 5,137 people fewer in your state government since I've been governor," says Nixon.

There's a price to pay by Crowder, too.

Part of this proposal includes keeping state higher education competitive by freezing tuition in 2017.  Just in case this proposal doesn't pass, though, Crowder officials have already talked about tuition increase numbers.

"Our tuition proposal does raise more dollars for Crowder College than this increase in state funding," says Methvin.

Simply put, Crowder ideally wants more money than the $300,000 increase in state funding proposed by Nixon.

In the end, there's a trade-off.

"There's definitely a need to raise tuition because I think you're right, there is a trade-off," says Young.

The proposal is now in the hands of state lawmakers and to be debated in the coming weeks.  Earlier this week, the Senate budget committee agreed with the recommendation.  However, the budget approved earlier this month by the House included no increase in performance funding.

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