BOLIVAR, Mo. — A community here in the Ozarks is looking to help residents who want to pursue a higher education.
This November, residents in the Bolivar School District will decide on a proposed partnership between the district and Ozarks Technical Community College that would make residents eligible for in-district tuition.
The measure would also require a tax levy increase of $0.20 operating levy increase (per $100 of assessed value).
Bolivar Superintendent Richard Asbill said that providing opportunities to career fields such as welding, electrical, and healthcare will not only provide new opportunities for families but also help the economic growth in the area.
“While improving access at a lower cost, we believe more people will be able to take advantage of career and technical training,” said Asbill.
As for the tax levy increase, according to the Polk County Assessor, it would only cost the average homeowner $41.72 per year or roughly $4 a month.
The money will not go to the Bolivar School district but it will help them to afford the partnership with OTC and offer reduced tuition.
“This is a global opportunity for people to get workforce and career technical training, the cost is less than $4 per month, which is really just a cup of coffee these days,” said Asbill.
Superintendent Asbill said this measure has received a lot of support from Governor Mike Parson and State Senator Sandy Crawford who serves the surrounding counties around Polk.
“Once we start establishing a campus here in Bolivar, you’re talking about Hickory County, Hermitage, there is a lot of adjourning neighboring counties that those individuals will now have access and say ‘hey I don’t have to drive all the way to Springfield, I can just come here to Bolivar,'” said Asbill.
Governor Parson is working with the state legislature to secure funding for a new OTC campus in Bolivar. If Governor Parson is not able to secure funding, Bolivar Superintendent Richard Asbill said they’ll still be able to give out the discounted tuition.