- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The day after Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a measure that would allow Missouri to spend less money but still meet the target for fully funding K-12 public schools, the state House quickly took the final vote needed to override him Thursday, making the bill a law.

House members voted 113-43 to enact the proposal. Senators voted 25-7 to undo the veto hours after Nixon announced his action Wednesday at a Ferguson school, with all but one Democrat backing the veto.

The move to change the state’s funding formula comes after the Legislature and governor have failed to meet funding goals for schools for years. Basic aid for K-12 schools in the fiscal year starting July 1 falls more than $400 million short of funding goals in the spending plan that lawmakers passed this year, even with a proposed $71 million increase.

The state adequacy target, which lawmakers use when setting goals for how much money schools should receive, can’t increase by more than 5 percent every two years under the new law. Funding will only be about $54 million short under the measure that lawmakers approved Thursday, and it also expands access to money to educate preschoolers to charter schools if lawmakers meet funding goals.

Bipartisan supporters of the change say meeting funding goals outlined without the cap wasn’t feasible.

“This is money that the governor has talked about, but the money simply is not there,” Festus Republican Rep. Becky Ruth said. “It is phantom money.”

Others argue the cap gives lawmakers more incentive to meet targets and will help to kick in early education spending.

Nixon called the legislation a “broken promise” to students when he vetoed the measure. House Democrats criticized the measure and said the lower funding targets won’t meet the needs of schools and students.

“Local public schools are not more than $400 million underfunded because the school funding law is unrealistic,” Assistant House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty said in a statement. “They are underfunded because majority Republicans have failed to make full funding of local schools a reality.”

The formula used to determine how much money lawmakers should aim to spend on basic aid for K-12 schools included a 5 percent cap when legislators created it in 2005. Lawmakers dropped the cap in 2009, hoping to receive more money from gambling that never came.


Missouri school funding bill is SB 586.



Senate: https://www.senate.mo.gov


Follow Summer Ballentine at https://twitter.com/esballentine

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More

Click to Hide