• Missouri SB 586 would change the way education is funded.
• Some districts could receive more or less money from the state, depending on formula changes.
• Taxes would not rise
Several area school districts could have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars if Missouri Senate Bill 586 would have become law according to those opposing this law. This comes about after a proposed bill was introduced to change the education funding formula.
“SB 586 modifies the definition of ‘current operating expenditures’ and ‘state adequacy target’ for the purposes of state funding and applies the definition of ‘average daily attendance’ to charter schools,” according to documentation.
For example, the new formula would have given the Boonville R-1 School District $4,737,166, which is almost $900,000 less than the previous formula. This is according to the the Missouri Department of Secondary Education.
“It would cost the district approximately five percent of anticipated total revenues. This would be devastating to the budget and require some tough decision making on behalf of the staff, administration and the board of education,” Boonville R-1 Superintendent Mark Ficken said in response if indeed the bill would cut funding this far.
Since Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the bill this week, the district will not have to worry about being short of money from the state, at least for now.
“Senate Bill 586 puts that progress in jeopardy by lowering the target for fully funding the K-12 foundation formula by approximately $418 million. By giving future governors and legislators a passing grade for a lower score, Senate Bill 586 would provide cover for legislators to short-change our local schools by passing even more reckless tax breaks and diverting revenue to other priorities. In fact, even as we speak, the General Assembly is considering a host of special interest giveaways that would, if passed, reduce state revenues by more than $1 billion annually when fully implemented,” according to Gov. Jay Nixon.
All area schools would have been affected accept for Prairie Home and Bunceton (Cooper County R-IV) whose amount received would not have changed.
Fayette, which receives $2,509,201, would have only received $2,147,821. New Franklin would have also been hit by the decrease in funds, which would have equaled $257,891 less than before. Pilot Grove would have seen a $155,152 deduction.
Senate Bill 586 would have cut the target to fully fund Missouri’s K-12 foundation formula by approximately $456 million according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Sen. Jay Wasson, who sponsored the bill, said the bill would put a five percent cap on the growth of current operating expenditures that was removed in 2009.
”Without the cap, the formula is growing exponentially more than it was designed to. If it keeps increasing at this rate, the legislature would not be able to fund other programs,” Wasson told media outlets.
In all, as budgetary constaints become more prominent other avenues to save money will be sought.
As this story progresses, the Boonville Daily News will continue to hear from the voices who are in favor of this bill, including reasoning behind it and the partisan support it has received from both sides of the isle.
According to figures presented by Representative David Wood, The Boonville R-1 School District, would gain $180,504 if the bill would have passed. Many in favor, including Rep. Wood think Gov. Nixon's information is false.
Representative David Muntzel agrees with Rep. Wood's assessment.