Senate overrides Nixon's veto on bill designed to lower school funding

2 years 2 months 1 week ago Wednesday, May 04 2016 May 4, 2016 Wednesday, May 04, 2016 10:53:00 AM CDT May 04, 2016 in News
By: Stephanie Sierra, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate overrode Gov. Jay Nixon's veto Wednesday on the bill that would have reduced the amount of money lawmakers would target to try to fully-fund schools. 

SB586 states it would modify the "state adequacy target" for funding public schools around the state for fiscal year 2017-2018.

"This cheapening of the foundation formula results in a broken promise to our local schools and the students they educate," Nixon said. "It would provide cover for legislators to turn their backs on our local schools by passing even more reckless tax breaks."

Nixon said the bill would have cut $456 million of funding. However, this number is based on assuming the budget is fully funded, which would require an additional $455 million to our current budget.

The big question is: Are lawmakers fully funding the formula right now? No.

Reports from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education show the formula hasn't been "fully" funded in the past five years.

DESE reports that, as of the April 2016 payment, the formula is currently underfunded for FY2016 with $455,900,618.

Below is the amount of money necessary to fully fund the formula and the actual appropriation given.

 Foundation Formula Funding over the past 6 years

Year         Amount needed      Money received

2010

$3,032,215,223

$3,032,215,223

 99%

2011

$3,083,216,948

$3,004,388,410

 X

2012

$3,191,705,041

$3,004,388,410

 X

2013

$3,467,750,358

$3,009,388,411

 X

2014

$3,685,111,064

$3,075,271,737

 X

2015

$3,672,535,459

$3,353,283,124

 X*

 Source: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 

*Included money from Surplus Revenue Fund

X= not fully funded

Years 2007-2009 were fully funded

What would have changed if SB586 passed assuming the formula is fully funded?

Columbia would have lost the most.

Modifying the "state adequacy target" would have affected many mid-Missouri school districts.

Supporters of the bill said it's saving the formula.

"If the formula gets to the point where it's a billion dollars out of whack, who's going to pay any attention to it," Sen. Jay Wasson, R-Greene County said. "When it get's there no one's going to even try to fund it."

Wasson said the governor had plenty of time to fund the formula.

"He's had eight years in office to give us a recommendation to fully fund it, he's never done that."

"SB 586 is an acknowledgement by majority Republicans that they have failed for more than a decade to keep their promises to Missouri’s children," said Rep. Gail Beatty, D-Kansas City.  "But failure is never an acceptable answer when it comes to our local public schools." 

 

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