Governor Blunt Announces Education Plan
"On average, Missouri school districts only spend 61% of tax dollars that they receive in the classroom," said Blunt.
But Governor Blunt wants an extra 4-cents from every education dollar to be spent on instruction. This would bring an additional $272 million into classrooms without a tax increase. That equals a little more than $300 per student. So in a class of 20 students that's more than $6000 above what's available today.
The Assistant Superintendent of Columbia Public Schools said the initiative has good points but it could cause some problems.
"I think we can do that. I mean, but I do think what we're gonna have to do with our budgets being as tight as they are," said Dr. Lynn Barnett of the Columbia Public Schools. "We're going to have to eliminate support for children in order to have more classroom teachers."
Barnett said she thinks Blunt leaves out important people like nurses, guidance counselors, and psychological examiners who also teach in the classroom. The governor said his program would cover teacher salaries, textbooks, classroom supplies, drama, band and athletics, among other things.
It would take an amendment to the state constitution to bring this plan to life. The soonest this could make the ballot is next November.