Legislature Addresses Teacher Pay, Early Childhood, and School Safety in Budget


The Missouri General Assembly passed the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE’s) $9.8 billion Fiscal Year 2024 budget today, including these highlights:

  • Full funding of the Foundation Formula and funding for transportation at the maximum allowable reimbursement amount (75 percent)
  • Funding to support teacher pay, including a number of the State Board of Education’s Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations:
    • Full funding of the Teacher Baseline Salary Grant
    • Increased funding for the Career Ladder program
    • Additional funds to support Grow Your Own programs
    • Funds to support teacher recruitment and retention scholarships (formerly referred to as the Urban Flight and Rural Needs Scholarship)
  • Additional investments in DESE’s Office of Childhood:
    • Expanding Pre-K education
    • Increasing child care subsidy rates
  • Additional funds to support the newly-created School Safety Grant Program

DESE’s budget bill now heads to Governor Parson’s desk for signature.

“These are significant investments, so this is an exciting day for education,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “We thank Governor Parson for his visionary recommendations related to early childhood and education and appreciate the General Assembly further investing in public education in our state.”

“With the state’s continued strong budget position, it’s encouraging to see the legislature prioritizing funding to support schools and educators,” said State Board of Education President Charlie Shields. “Public education is one of the key pieces of our state’s infrastructure. Providing schools with the funding they need to educate Missouri students and recruit and retain the best and brightest to the teaching profession is the number one way our state can ensure we are preparing the workforce of tomorrow.” 

“We are encouraged by the ongoing conversation about teacher pay,” added Commissioner Vandeven. “We must continue discussing sustainable ways to compensate educators more appropriately for the incredible work they do. We’re hopeful the Blue Ribbon Commission’s short-term and long-term priorities continue to be part of that conversation. And we look forward to the commission presenting their phase two recommendations in August to address climate and culture challenges that affect teacher recruitment and retention.”