Columbia Public School Board votes on charter schools opposition

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COLUMBIA - As the Missouri State legislature continues to cut funds for higher education, public school funding is now in question.

House Bill 634 would allow charter schools to be payed for using taxpayer dollars. 

On Monday night, the Columbia Public School Board voted on a resolution against HB634. 

"This board of education is really against charter schools because we're firm believers in public schools," board member Christine King said. 

King said she thinks lawmakers are attempting to decide where taxpayer dollars should go. According to King, 65 percent of the CPS budget comes from local revenue

"This money we receive from local dollars to run our schools; we don't believe should be used to be funneled back to something other than the public schools," King said. 

Teachers from Hickman and Battle High School spoke in opposition of the bill as well. 

"We know this bill is not good for students, and we stand with you in your opposition," Kathy Steinhoff said. 

Steinhoff is a math teacher at Hickman High School and the president of the Columbia Missouri National Education Association.  

"If this bill passes, we need to ensure that all charter schools are held accountable to meet the same requirements as the public schools are," Steinhoff said. 

Josephus Johnson, who teaches at Battle High School, said the state of Missouri continuously keeps taking money away from public schools. 

"I think anything that has the potential to remove funding from public schools is going to end up producing a downfall of the school district," Johnson said. "So the bigger issue is the amount of dollars it would pull away from those school districts." 

PTA member of both Mill Creek and Gentry Elementary School Mandy Llewllyne agrees as well. 

"I don't think the schools receive enough money as it is," Llewllyne said. "There are bigger issues than a charter school coming on."

The Columbia Public School Board is voting on the resolution Monday night. 

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