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Blunt to sign budget Friday

Mo Gov. Matt Blunt shakes hands with children while visiting the Cool Valley Elementary School on Wednesday. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Missouri Public Radio

Kansas City, MO. – Missouri Governor Matt Blunt kicked off a two-day tour Wednesday across Missouri to publicize school spending increases in the state's budget.

Public schools would get a $158 million increase for the coming fiscal year. That's on top of the $3.6 billion already going to schools.

Blunt says he is keeping a campaign promise to boost spending on public schools.

"I said the budget that I would craft would place school children first and recognize the fact that we have a constitutional obligation and we also believe as Missourians the schools are the most important thing state government funds," Blunt said.

Critics of this bill say the new money comes from the growth of taxes and revenue already earmarked for public schools.

Blunt is hosting news conferences in eight classrooms across the state to perform ceremonial signings of the budget for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the fiscal year starting July First. He plans to sign the actual budget bill into law Friday.

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