KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Local educators and administrators gathered in Kirksville Friday for the State of Education in northeast Missouri.
The meeting was part of the Kirksville Chamber of Commerce’s “Government in Focus”.
With members from primary education, private and public schools and higher education in attendance, they broke down everything from funds to new programs and events.
The members included Truman State University, A.T. Still University, Moberly Area Community College, Kirksville R-III Schools, Brashear R-II Schools, Novinger R-1 Schools, Mary Immaculate and Faith Lutheran.
Nancy Pennington, chairman of the Government Affairs Committee, spoke with us about why this kind of event is important.
Well with this, we invite all the heads of education throughout the community and area to come and talk about what it is that's important with them, what changes are going on, what they see for the future. It's important to get this information out to the community.
A key point presented was the need for funding in many rural and smaller schools.
While all the schools cooperate with each other on a daily basis, they are also competing against each other for teachers.
Many of the rural and smaller schools have trouble filling openings due to salary constraints.
Some districts have suggested moving to a four-day school week to influence more teachers to apply.
Not all talking points were centered around the lack of funding.
Faith Lutheran in Kirksville has seen a boost in their enrollment that has created space problems in their building.
To overcome that, they were interested in building a new gymnasium to provide more teaching room.
They’re happy to announce the groundbreaking will begin this spring.
All higher education systems involved in Friday’s event had plenty of positive things to talk about, thanks to the push for education and workforce development by Missouri Governor Mike Parson.
M-A-C-C, Truman State and A.T. Still have the opportunities to create workforce development programs without the fear of state reduced funding.
The meeting lasted just over an hour and while each school has things they need to improve on, the consensus by those in attendance was it is a privilege to work, teach and learn from the schools of northeast Missouri.
They’re all excited for what the future of education in the Heartland will look like.