Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) says the state’s higher education funding is too low, including from the Missouri General Assembly. She says state aid has been trending downward for a while.
“If I was a member of the Missouri Legislature, I would be worried about that,” said McCaskill. “I’d be worried about the fact that we are making it harder and harder for young people to get an education in this state because of a lack of funding coming from Jefferson City.”
McCaskill also says state lawmakers need to move on from last fall’s turmoil at the University of Missouri. She says it’s unfair to drive up tuition prices by cutting funding at Mizzou.
“I’m hopeful that the Missouri legislators will think about it and realize we need to look to the future of our state in terms of economic development, strength and that isn’t like trying to have some misguided political slam on a situation that maybe wasn’t handled perfectly,” said McCaskill.
Republicans contend the cuts they’ve proposed shouldn’t cause an increase in tuition.
State lawmakers are considering more than $8 million in budget cuts to Mizzou, largely in response to University leaders’ handling of racial protests on campus last fall and of former professor Melissa Click. She called for “some muscle” to be used to block a student journalist during those protests. After several weeks of public criticism, the Board of Curators voted earlier this month to fire Click.
Brad Tregnago of KSSZ contributed to this story.