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Lobbyist Money Help  

School Funding Debate Continues

March 1, 2005
By: Bente Birkeland
State Capital Bureau

Legislators say a new formula for funding public schools would give more money to St. Louis school districts.

Bente (BEN teh) Birkeland has more from Jefferson City.

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Under the plan, the state would give the St. Louis City school district roughly 15 million more dollars a year.

Representative Corcoran is a Democrat from St. Louis county. He says the state will also increase funds to that district. But he says he doesn't know how Gov. Blunt plans to pay for it.

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" The increased money that he has proposed was money that was going to be there from gaming anyway so there really isn't a new source of revenue or a new increase in funding."

The new formula would give schools money based on the cost of educating students. It factors in special education programs, poor children, and those who speak English as a second language.

Members of the committee said they will vote on a bill next week. It will still need to go to committees in the Senate and House.

From the state Capitol, I'm Bente Birkeland

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Legislators say the state's new formula to give money to public schools has not quieted the urban and rural divide.

Bente (BEN teh) Birkeland has more from Jefferson City.

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The new plan would give schools money based on the cost of educating students.

It also adjusts for cost of living. Legislators from urban and rural areas have different ideas about what that means.

Senator Matt Bartle, a Republican from Lee's Summit says location drives teacher's salaries.

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"You can go to a rural area and buy a beautiful four bedroom home for a fraction of what you can buy that home in a metro area."

Bartle says school districts need money to attract teachers.

Representative Wallace, a Republican from Thornfield, says rural districts need more money for the same reason.

Members of the committee say they will vote on a bill next week. It will still need to go to committees in the Senate and House.

From the state Capitol, I'm Bente Birkeland