State Representatives from the Columbia area said they may be divided on some details, but for education, they cross the aisle.
Last week, State Representatives Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, Caleb Jones, R-Columbia, Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, and Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia attended a summit hosted by the Youth Advisory Council and Youth Community Coalition. The summit focused on youth issues, including early childhood education, drug use and violence.
The organizers of the event said they want to educate the legislators and start solution oriented discussions.
Representative Jones said members of the Boone County Delegation make education a priority in the General Assembly because they know it is important to constituents.
“There are a lot of issues out here that are political, partisan, republican, democrat, that we all fight and yell and scream at each other about,” he said. “But education and children are one of the few issues that you put partisan politics aside and you try to get as much funding as possible for it. And you do whatever you can to get it done.”
Representative Rowden agreed, saying though the legislators have very different backgrounds—Rowden was a Christian Rock singer, while Basye worked for the Federal Aviation Administration—they are all dedicated to having conversations with each other and with their constituents who are passionate about education.
“We make tough decisions, we’re faced with bad choices every day,” he said. “But to the extent that we can prioritize K-12 education, we can prioritize early childhood education, that’s something that Boone County is definitely united in support of because we know our constituents are definitely united behind it as well.”
Boone County legislators were instrumental in securing recent state funding for renovation projects on MU’s campus.