U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill met with school board representatives from across Missouri to discuss the state’s public school system, including the impact of proposed budget cuts on Missouri’s public schools and the challenges facing rural school districts. Attending today’s meeting in McCaskill’s Washington D.C. office were Larry Felton of Mehlville, Rhonda Gilstrap of Blue Springs, Jen Mees of Columbia, Mike Pratte of Hermann, and Missouri School Board Association Executive Director Melissa Randol. “As a product of our public schools, I know just how crucial a strong public education system is for the next generation of Missouri’s students,” said McCaskill, a graduate of Hickman High School in Columbia, Mo. “The work these accomplished, devoted school leaders are doing is having a tremendous impact on preparing our children for jobs of the future.” McCaskill, a longtime advocate for Missouri public schools, joined a bipartisan effort to restore Secure Rural Schools funding for communities surrounding Mark Twain National Forest—to provide resources to support local schools, transportation, and public safety services. Citing the danger posed to Missouri’s small towns and rural communities, where public school resources are critical, McCaskill joined bipartisan opposition in voting against Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education. DeVos is a lifelong advocate for the for-profit school industry, and has spent her career working to privatize public education.