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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Farming ballot measure campaign heats up

Sunday, 26 January 2014 10:16 Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Opposition is starting to form around a ballot measure that would enshrine a "right to farm" in Missouri's Constitution.

A former Democratic state senator has started a political action committee to fight the ballot measure. Wes Shoemyer says the amendment would take away the people's ability to use the initiative petition process to regulate agriculture.

A coalition of farming and livestock associations, known as Missouri Farmers Care, argues the amendment is necessary to protect farmers from groups that use the ballot box to restrict farming and ranching.

Missouri lawmakers referred the measure to the ballot last year. It will appear on the November ballot unless Gov. Jay Nixon moves up the date. North Dakota voters approved similar constitutional protection in 2012.

Missouri to pay for ACT, reduce some testing times

Sunday, 26 January 2014 10:13 Published in Local News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri is going to begin picking up the tab for students to take the ACT college entrance exam and dramatically reduce the amount of time some elementary and middle school students spend taking state assessments.

When the changes take effect next school year, Missouri will join more than a dozen states that already offer the ACT test to all their students. Missouri plans to offer the test once, free of charge to high school juniors.

Elementary and middle school students also will see changes as the state switches to new assessments tied to the Common Core standards for math and reading. Students in third, fourth, sixth and seventh grades will take a one-hour version of the test. Only fifth- and eighth-graders will take a longer seven-hour version.

UM president to recommend no tuition increase

Sunday, 26 January 2014 10:11 Published in Local News

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe says he'll recommend that tuition at the system's four campuses not increase for the 2014-15 school year.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Wolfe told the Post-Dispatch editorial board Friday he'd send his recommendation to the Board of Trustees, who would likely take up the matter at a meeting next week.

The last time tuition remained flat was four years ago. The university system's curators had been moving ahead on a plan that would have called for a 1.5 percent tuition increase.

Wolfe's recommendation comes after Gov. Jay Nixon proposed earlier this week to put more than $80 million into higher education. But in exchange, Nixon called on Missouri colleges and universities not to raise costs.

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