The architect behind the current state public school funding formula believes it will survive its latest legal challenge.
Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) chaired the committee which re-wrote the school funding formula, settling on one that would guarantee slightly more than $6,000 per child. State Supreme Court Judge Michael Wolfe questioned during oral arguments whether the formula set up a system that allowed some districts greater ease at accessing different results that other, in effect rigging the game in favor of one set of districts as opposed to another.
"What our formula tried to do is establish a base and say, ‘This is what we know you can educate a child for in our state,’" Shields told the Missourinet. "I don’t know that I buy the argument that the formula provides some districts with additional opportunities for state funds that not all districts have. That’s seems like that may be a little bit of a stretch for me"
Shields said he believes the Supreme Court will uphold the formula, because it’s based on what top Missouri school districts spend to educate students.
"So the fact that there is rationality behind the formula is very, very meaningful," said Shields. "The second reason I’m confident is the strength of the verdict that was brought down by Judge Callahan on the original case and the writings that he has clearly uphold this formula. And I would be shocked if the Supreme Court would do anything else."
The court will hand down a ruling later.