Missouri Plans to Increase Funding for Schools
HALLSVILLE - Missouri schools can plan on a graduation in funds coming from the state. Last week, Missouri legislators planned to give more money to public schools state wide. Hallsville School District Superintendent John Robertson said the increase will have a big impact, especially on smaller school districts like Hallsville who receive a majority of its funding from the state, not local sources.
"We're probably 60/40. We're about 60% state revenue, so anything that happens in Jefferson City really affects us pretty greatly," Robertson said.
In its budget, the Missouri house decided to give schools an extra $65 million on top of the base $3 billion already budgeted for education. Last week, the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $66 million increase. According to legislative rules, the bonus has to be between the two figures.
Robertson estimated about $170,000 of that money would go to Hallsville and that increase would most likely go to educators.
"To me the number one most important expense is what we spend directly on instruction," Robertson said.
But Robertson isn't sure the increase will be enough. He said the 2 percent hike in funding still won't make up for education budget cuts the Missouri legislature made in the late 2000s.
"We went through a lot of cuts during the 2009 and 2010 school year so that's not really enough," Robertson said.
Robertson also voiced concerns about how plans to emphasize a state sales tax over an income tax could negatively affect school funding.