Missouri’s school boards are not as concerned about funding for schools as they once were – because something has replaced their worries about money. This is not to say school boards are not worried about the money it takes to educate the children of Missouri, but changes in the political world around them have elevated one issue ahead of funding. The Missouri School Boards Association has surveyed the boards and spokesman Brent Ghan says achievement and accountability combine into one issue that is the top concern of 77 percent of the boards: student achievement. Fifty-three percent of the boards say finances are most importnat, ranking that category second. Ghan says there’s a link between achievement and financing that can’t be overlooked, and is one of the factors in the lawsuit by more than 200 districts that charge the present funding system is inequitable and inadequate. The third greatest concern – quality of teaching – the ability to attract and retain the best-quality people possible and provide the facilities and technology they need to provide high quality education – all of which ties back to the issue that lies under all of the others – money.
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