Attending this week’s meeting in McCaskill’s Washington D.C. office were Jen Mees of Columbia, Larry Felton of Mehlville, Rhonda Gilstrap of Blue Springs, Mike Pratte of Hermann, and Missouri School Board Association Executive Director Melissa Randol.

“I’m a proud product of our public schools, and 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.