JEFFERSON CITY— The Missouri Senate successfully overrode the governor’s veto on a bill that will save the future of the K-12 school funding formula. Bill sponsor, Sen. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa, said the governor doesn’t understand the potential this bill has to not only protect the foundation formula, but potentially fully fund it in just a couple of years.
“The money the governor says the schools will lose out on doesn’t exist today, and won’t exist anytime in the future,” said Wasson. “We have continuously funded K-12 education at record levels, and that won’t stop after this bill goes into effect. This measure will give schools the assurance and planning predictability they need so they know how much money they can spend. By saving the formula, we will be able to allow it to increase more proportionately to the growth rate in Missouri instead of setting unrealistic expectations.”
Senate Bill 586 reinstates the five percent cap on current operating expenses. That cap was removed by the Legislature in 2009 after lawmakers expected to receive more money in the budget, but due to the downturn of the economy, that money never came through. That money never came, but the formula continued to grow at such a rate that the state will never be able to fully fund it.
Because Missouri never got the gambling money that was projected, the state now faces the more than a half a billion dollar gap in school funding,” said Senate Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin. “This measure, with bipartisan support, will make full funding of the foundation formula an attainable goal in the next couple of years.”
“As legislators one of the most important jobs we have is protecting education in this state,” said Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City. “Our children are our lifeline to the future. We need to ensure that our public school system has the financial means to provide education. This bill does that.”
The measure now moves to the House for a veto override attempt. For more on this bill and others, visit www.senate.mo.gov