Gov. Nixon proposes $50 million increase in education funding

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COLUMBIA - Governor Jay Nixon proposed an additional $50 million to go to education funding for Missouri schools.

The Associated Press received an e-mail sent by a top Nixon staff member with details of the school funding proposal.

Under the plan the $50 million could be raised by an extra $79 million if legislators pass certain measures that generate revenue including expanding Medicaid.

Some education groups do not fully agree with the new funding proposal.

"Only $50 million would potentially harm some districts in our state and might cause cuts for some of the districts in our state, and that would be detrimental for our students," said Todd Fuller, Missouri State Teachers Association spokesman. 

The increase could result in more money for some schools and less for others which could affect teacher staffing levels. Fuller said some districts have a stronger community base and local funding source while the smaller districts are losing that funding source and may need more money from the state to help students do well in the classroom. 

"What we're talking about, that $50 million  is a start, but in order to fully fund what we intend to do for school districts in the state of Missouri, that's called the Foundation Formula," Fuller said. "It's the process that they use to determine how much money goes to each district in the state to fully fund that. We're looking at about $482 million, so $50 million is a start, but we got a long way to go."

Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Peter Stiepleman sent KOMU 8 an e-mail stating:

"Our concern in Columbia is that $50 million is a step in the right direction but will not have a big impact on what is really a major problem. Hold harmless districts, which Columbia is not, will not see any decrease in funding. Formula districts, like CPS, will be the ones trying to come up with plans to handle the projected shortfalls in revenue associated with gaming losses and new early childhood funding," Stiepleman said.