State Senators hoping to keep the courts out of the business of financing public education have approved a new funding formula. But, there are questions about the new formula’s adequacy. Backers say it’s the first time Missouri will base public school funding on the needs of the student instead of basing it on assessed valuation of property. They say that’s a more equitable approach. The proposal heads to the House with a price tag of almost $700-Million – and hopes that the state will be able to raise that much money during the five years the new system will be phased in. Looming over all of these discussions is a lawsuit filed by about half the school districts in Missouri. They say the present formula is inadequate and inequitable. Senators behind the bill say this will address the equitability issue, but it might be up to others to decide adequacy. And, although they say they’re confident the state can find enough money to properly fund the plan, they’re not making promises. The House has a similar plan but it costs even more.