Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Supreme Court Upholds School Funding Formula

Missouri's school-funding formula was upheld Tuesday by the state Supreme Court against a long-running challenge that claimed schools have been shortchanged and treated unfairly.
The schools that sued claimed the state fails to spend enough money on schools and distributes that money inequitably, at least partly because of a flawed local property-tax system.
Minority Leader Paul LeVota:
"The Missouri Supreme Court today ruled that the state’s method of funding local public schools meets the minimum constitutional requirements. The court, however, did not rule that the state is doing all it can to improve the quality of public education. Although the bare minimum may be sufficient to comply with the state constitution, Missouri children deserve an educational system that provides much more than the bare minimum. In 2005, the Republican-controlled General Assembly and then-Republican governor replaced an outdated, inadequate and unfair public school funding formula with a new system that is just as inadequate and perhaps even more unfair. That formula is now four years old, but is still only halfway through its long phase-in period. By the time the system if fully implemented for the 2012-2013 school year, another generation of Missouri children will have been shortchanged. It is past time for lawmakers to do the job the Republican majority failed to do in 2005 and establish a fair and adequate funding system that makes public education more of a priority within the existing state budget to improve our schools without a tax increase."

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