The architect of the new school funding formula still holds out hope that some of the school districts involved in the lawsuit against the state will drop out. Senator Charlie Shields of St. Joseph pushed through the new formula during the legislative session, shifting the state funding mechanism away from one based on the local property tax burden and onto one based on a calculation of what it costs to educate a child. Despite the insistence from local school districts that they will keeping pressing their case, Shields expects the coalition to lose a few districts. Shields dispute criticism raised by those involved in the litigation. He dismisses a criticism that the formula isn’t truly student based, because it doesn’t take into account special-needs children. Shields says factors within the formula provide more money for school districts that have above normal numbers of such children.
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