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Politics

New School Funding Formula

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/newschoolf_136.mp3

Missouri lawmakers are considering a bill that would change the current school funding formula for school districts on the state of Missouri. KSMU's Katie Hummel reports.

THE SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA IS A MECHANISM FOR DISTRIBUTING BASIC STATE AID TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

JIM MORRIS IS THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC INFORMATION FOR THE MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION.

HE DESCRIBES THE SCHOOL-FUDNING FORMULA AS A MATHMATICAL EQUATION.

MORRIS SAYS HE BELIEVES THE STATES CURRENT FORMULA IS OLD AND IN NEED OF CHANGE.

HE SAYS MANY DISTRICTS VIEW THE CURRENT FORMULA AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE OF ITS UNEVEN DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS.

MORRIS SAYS THE CURRENT FORMULA DEPENDS HEAVILY ON LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT TAX RATES ... PROPERTY TAX RATES.

THE LOWER THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS PROPERTY TAX VALUE IS, THE MORE MONEY IT RECIEVES.

HE SAYS THE NEW FORMULA WOULD TAKE IN OTHER FACTORS.

THERE ARE TWO VERSIONS OF THE BILL THAT WOULD CHANGE THE CURRENT SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA.

ONE HAS GAINED APPROVAL IN THE SENATE.

THE OTHER IS AWAITING APPROVAL OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE.