New study shows Missouri formula is underfunding schools - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

New study shows Missouri formula is underfunding schools

At a time when Missouri lawmakers are talking about tax cuts, a new study shows the schools are the ones that will suffer.  It's a new study that shows just how much Missouri students are being shortchanged.  The average is about $700 per student.

The Funding Formula passed by lawmakers in 2005 promised to give schools adequate funding but so far, schools districts like Hannibal haven't received all the money they were promised.  Just last year, the Hannibal school district was underfunded by $3 million, and students and teachers are paying the price.

For teachers like Zach Campbell and Stephanie Utterback, having enough money for school supplies is a battle.  Campbell used donations to buy an iPad for his students, but Utterback said teachers are having to foot some of the costs.
"I would say 100 percent of our teachers out of pocket, whether it's pencils or something like that or a book that they're wanting to use in their classroom or a supplement resource that they need in their classroom," Utterback said. 
Forty percent of the school district's budget comes from state aid, and superintendent Dr. Jill Janes said right now the school is only getting 92 percent of its full funding.  Janes said that limits what the district can do.

"So you just have to each summer decide what we can afford to do and just try to maintain your buildings and grounds the best you can," Janes said.

Amy Blouin with the Missouri Budget Project said schools in northeast Missouri are hurting more than other parts of the state.

"What we saw predominantly and it was striking to us that the rural areas of the state and rural school districts had a much more significant shortfall," she said.

The Missouri Budget Project reports the Hannibal School district is currently $841 per student under its required funding levels.  Utterback knew the situation was bad, but she had no idea it was by so much.
"That statistic is very sad.  When you think about the future and education of our children that we don't see that as important enough to put that money into their futures," she said.

Janes believes there could be some light at the end of the tunnel.  She hopes to get an extra $500,000 from the state next year and be fully funded in the next two or three years.

To see how much money your school district is losing out on, you can click on the link. 
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