Vol. 44, No. 30

Director, Public Information

April 9, 2010


Regional P-20 Groups Get Boost

Efforts to create regional support systems benefitting students from pre-school to higher education, or grades P-20, got a boost last week. 

Education, business, and community leaders from eight regions across the state met with state P-20 leaders in Jefferson City last Thursday (April 1).  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and partner state agency personnel hosted the meeting to strengthen regional P-20 network development efforts.

State education officials recently awarded start-up grants to support the emerging P-20 efforts in different parts of the state. 

Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro and Commissioner of Higher Education Robert B. Stein gave opening and closing remarks at the day-long meeting.

 “We believe the regional P-20 councils are critical to ensuring that education and economic development work hand-in-hand to promote prosperity and quality of life for Missouri citizens,” said Chris L. Nicastro.

Stein, the longest-serving member with the state P-20 initiative, emphasized a sense of urgency exists for improving student learning and promoting life-long learning.  “We have tremendous opportunity in the state,” he said, noting with optimism the involvement by regional groups.

The P-20 initiative at the state and regional levels provides a framework for educators, employers, community members and policymakers to work together on mutual goals to ensure students progress seamlessly from one educational level to the next and are adequately prepared for entry into the workforce.

Missouri is one of several states with P-20 initiatives underway. 

Newly forming regions include Kansas City, central, southwest, northeast, and south central.  Established P-20 regions include the northwest, southeast, and St. Louis areas. 

DESE issued small grant awards to the regions last month ($7,500 to $15,000) from federal funds available through the Workforce Investment Act. The grants will support local planning and collaboration activities.

For more information, contact Steve Coffman, DESE director of employment training, 573-522-6545.