Governor Blunt and Republican legislative leaders think they’ve solved the problems with the state school funding formula. A representative of those suing the state about school funding says they’re dead wrong. The legislature’s new plan changes the basis for funding and will put about $800 million more into the formula over a seven year period. It includes no new taxes to pay for it, relying instead on economic growth. More than 250 school districts charge the current formula is unfair and inequitable. The lawyer for the biggest chunk of those districts, Alex Bartlett, says the new plan falls far short, especially because it won’t be fully operational for seven years. And in the seventh year, Missouri will have to be complying with the federal No Child Left Behind law, which will cost even more money. Bartlett says the problems being attacked by the lawsuit would not be solved even if the legislature fully funded the new formula now. He says none of the 257 districts he represents has indicated an interest in dropping out of the suit because of the new formula.
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