Mo. School Funding Fix Is No Cure-All

Courtney Williams's picture
Friday, June 8, 2012

State education officials are hoping that a temporary fix to the state’s beleaguered school funding formula will defuse an explosive battle — and possible legal dispute — among the state’s more than 500 school districts.

But they also know their plan won’t entirely please anyone.

In the past few weeks, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has rolled out an approach for avoiding what soon could be a $700 million shortfall in the state’s school funding formula.

Without a fix, that shortfall would have triggered a breakdown in the formula by which some districts could have lost upwards of 20 percent of state aid, even as other school districts experienced a windfall of new money.

Under the latest plan, the state would reduce the total price tag for funding Missouri’s schools to something closer to what the state can afford.

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