A bit of tweaking and some real numbers as a special legislative committee refines its work on a new formula to fund public schools. Further number crunching has dropped the new state minimum expenditure per pupil to $6,100. Calculations have been refined to account for districts with higher numbers of poor children, disabled children and immigrants. The pricetag: $546-Million more per year than the current formula. Joint Education Committee Chairman, Senator Charlie Shields of St. Joseph, understands that when the new formula hits the House and Senate floors, lawmakers must perceive a local benefit. A big factor in this formula is a cost-of-living adjustment that recognizes it costs more to run schools in the St. Louis and Kansas City area. Both St. Louis and Kansas City wouldn’t normally be entitled to extra state funding. But, the cost of living and student adjustments will provide $15-Million extra for St. Louis and $13-Million extra for Kansas City. A draft of legislation will be presented to the committee next week, which likely will be forwarded to both chambers of the Legislature.
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