Missouri Schools Continue Battle

1 decade 10 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, August 29 2007 Aug 29, 2007 Wednesday, August 29, 2007 11:30:47 PM CDT August 29, 2007 in News

The school districts asked for more than one billion dollars. Wednesday's court decision meant this debate is far from over.

Most Missouri schools feel they face an uphill battle, saying recent state and federal legislation like the No Child Left Behind act set higher expectations of student achievement. The schools say they can't keep up without some outside help.

"The problem is that resources have not kept up with the mandates as they have been handed down. And so, a lot of the financial burden has been shifted to local taxpayers," explained Brent Ghan from the Missouri School Boards Association.

The Missouri Circuit Court disagrees, saying the schools did not prove they were cheated of any money. And the court added that there is no guarantee an increase in funding would be equally distributed.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Governor Blunt said, "The new formula has helped me deliver more than a half a billion dollar increase to Missouri classrooms without a tax increase."

Blunt also said, "The lawsuit was designed to mandate a billion dollar tax increase on Missouri families."

"Where does the money come from? That's a good question. That's a decision that would have to be made by the legislature and other state leaders," Ghan said.

Ghan says he and the school districts simply want to secure the funding and let the political process take it from there.

The school districts plan on appealing the case to the Missouri Supreme Court as soon as possible.

Governor Blunt says he is hopeful the supreme court will share the circuit court's sentiment.

Ghan says don't expect a decision for at least a few months.

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