JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) - _______
"Kathy, let's address people's fears directly," he said. "I am a big supporter of public schools."
Governor Eric Greitens is quick to point out he is a product of Missouri public schools. He also points to the money directed toward those schools during his first year in office.
"And as many of your viewers know, we put 64 million more dollars into education, more money into K-12 education, than has ever been spent in Missouri history," said Greitens. "Why? Because I want every kid in the state of Missouri to have the same opportunity that I did."
"We've got a lot of administrators who are making over a quarter of a million dollars a year," Greitens. "And yet, our teachers, our starting teacher pay, 48th in the country. I believe that we need to raise teacher pay. We need to help our students succeed. And work to improve our public schools."
Will the changes to that board specifically bring about some of those improvements?
"Absolutely. Look, we've put people on the board who are going to put kids first. And that's what we've needed to have, is a focus on what's working for kids. And people are always asking--what are we going to do? What are our policies? We support policies that work for kids. And I believe if we really want to support our kids, those dollars that your viewers are spending shouldn't be going to bureaucracy and administration."
Greitens appointed All five of the board members who voted to oust Vandeven. He said he wants the moves to lead to big changes, including in student performance levels.
"But, the fact is, when you look at the state of Missouri, our schools have been headed in the wrong direction. 4th-grade reading. We've dropped nine places relative to other states. 8th-grade math. We've dropped ten places relative to other states. And the problem in Missouri has been our money that your viewers are spending, it's not getting into the classroom. It's been going to bureaucracy, into administration."
You also asked me to ask him about his take on Charter schools. When I did, he went back to his push for less bureaucracy, better teacher pay, and a better use of the money already coming in.