Senate Approves Federal Funding for Schools
JEFFERSON CITY - On Monday, April 18th, the Missouri Senate approved a bill to give $189 million in federal funding to schools. The bill began in the House back in February and now awaits approval from Governor Jay Nixon.
$36.7 million of the $189 million will be used for this fiscal year, which ends June 30th 2011. The remaining $152.3 million would be used for next year's budget.
The bill passed unanimously in the House, but had a few holdouts in the Senate. Those in the Senate that were against the bill were not against giving money to schools. Senator Jane Cunningham said, "I'm not against giving them money, but we haven't gotten a return on our investment."
Senator Cunningham refers to some poor standards set by schools to allow some of its students to move on. She said, "There are students who graduate high school who don't even know how to read."
She says that there are some ideas to begin changing what schools do. One method includes changing how teacher tenure works, a topic that has been in the Legislature in recent months.
Some legislators say that the funding only prolongs the adjustments that will have to be made in the future to Missouri's budget so that it won't rely on the federal government. However, that funding is giving Missouri schools funds they need to keep running smoothly and will not have to cut teachers within the immediate future.