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Schools Could Still Get Full Funding Under a Bill

March 4, 2002
By: JiaoJiao Shen
State Capital Bureau

If one bill is passed, Missouri public schools will receive less state money this year than originally planned.

JiaoJiao Shen has more from the Capitol.

RunTime: 2:42
OutCue: SOC

Governor Holden says one of his two main priorities this year is to fully fund the Missouri school foundation formula.

The foundation formula funds school districts according to wealth. That means poorer districts get more money and richer ones get less.

Representative Chuck Graham of Columbia is sponsoring a bill that adjusts the foundation formula.

Grahams bill will give public schools 45 million dollars less this year, but 45 million more next year, than originally planned.

RunTime: 11
OutCue: additional money
Contents: Representative Graham says it will reduce the increase from 219 million dollars to 175 million dollars.

So, that's 45 million dollars the government is saving this year when the budget is tight.

Governor Holden supports the school foundation formula and says he will fund it.

RunTime: 8
OutCue: I will give to
Contents: Holden says he made a committment to fully fund the school foundation formula and his intent is to do that and he will use whatever mechanism he has available to do that.

However, with less money going out this year, could it still be counted as fully funding?

Representative Barbara Fraser of St. Louis thinks so.

Fraser says the reduction will allow the funding to be spread over a two-year period.

She says the foundation formula will be fully funded because the same amount of money is going into the school districts, it's just not all at once.

RunTime: 8
OutCue: this year and next year
Contents: Fraser says they are still fully funding the foundation formula, they're just dividing it in half for this year and next year.

Graham says there's no money in the budget for an increase in public school funding right now.

RunTime: 8
OutCue: Rainy Day Fund
Contents: Graham says that money doesn't exist so that's why there are all the budget cuts, proposals for revenue enhancements, and why the governor wants to use the Rainy Day Funds.

Schools will suffer from less money this year, but Representative Fraser says they will get more money than originally intended for next year.

RunTime: 13
OutCue: plan as well
Contents: Fraser says it could be difficult but schools could adjust their budget for next year around the knowledge that they are getting more money. They could put teacher salaries on a two-year plan.

The bottomline is schools will not lose money over the two-year period.

However, Fraser says the problem with reduced funding this year is the worry that next year's economy will not improve, so schools won't get the extra funding next year.

RunTime: 10
OutCue: money next year
Contents: The school districts are worried about the legislature pulling through and the economy getting better and them receiving the same amount.

Graham's bill is waiting for Senate approval

From Jefferson City, I'm JiaoJiao Shen.