Missouri is getting $7.5 million federal dollars to keep school students from thinking about dropping out. The money will be used for middle school programs in districts with high rates of poverty. Deputy higher education commissioner John Wittstruck says it allows for a lot of experimentation. He says it’s important to reach children early and to get them started on the way to a post-secondary education. Most of the school districts involved are in St. Louis, Kansas City and southeast Missouri.