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By David Knopf/Richmond News
Gov. Jay Nixon said he chose Orrick as his final public appearance before his inauguration in order to honor the school’s application to become an A+ school and to announce an ambitious second-term education agenda.
Appearing in the Orrick gym Friday afternoon with State Sen. David Pearce, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Nixon used the occasion to outline plans to improve opportunities for Missouri students.
Among his proposals, Nixon said he would propose:
• Investing in high-quality preschool programs;
• Extending the Missouri school year to 180 days, the national average, from the present 174 days, fourth lowest in the nation;
• Assist all Missouri school districts in attaining A+ designation through an accelerated application process.
Under the A+ program, students can earn a scholarship to cover the cost of tuition and academic fees for two years at any public two-year community college or technical school in the state. To be eligible for the program, Nixon’s office said students must meet academic achievement standards, conduct and attendance requirements, and perform 50 hours of tutoring or mentoring service.
Orrick High School is on track to become an A+ school for the first time this spring.