JEFFERSON CITY - Representatives from both parties said Thursday one topic that is high up on the state legislature's agenda this season is statewide school funding.
The distribution formula for Missouri school taxes was recreated in 2005. This year, legislators will have to revise the distribution formula to figure out how much money the 524 Missouri school districts will receive.
Resultedly, less money coming in from the federal government this year and in years to come means Missouri public schools will see less and less in their allotted budget.
The Columbia Public Schools district made cutbacks three years ago in preparation for this budget crisis to hit the school system. "We cut 260 staff members and 20 million dollars out of our budget as preparatory measures for this day," Superintendent Chris Belcher said.
Local superintendents will be left with two choices for the next school year. "They can either cut back staff, increase classroom sizes, and cut programs or they can raise their local tax levy in order to supplement the program of what the Congress fails to give them," Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, said.