Members of the Missouri House believe they can increase school funding by $30 million without adding a penny of state money; and it’s not an April Fools’ Day joke.
Rep. Maynard Wallace (R-Thornfield) succeeded in pushing through an amendment to suspend the requirement that local school districts spend one percent of state funding on professional development.
“I don’t know what it means in your district. It depends on the size of the district, largely, but this might save a teacher’s job,” Wallace told colleagues during House floor debate. “We all know that education isn’t getting the money that they think they should get, that they should get and that they need. I’m just saying that for two years, the next two years, that they have a choice how to spend this $30 million.”
The amendment was approved during debate on HB 1543, which is sponsored by Wallace. Under the amendment, instead of being required to spend the percent on professional development, the school district could be spend the money at its discretion. Wallace estimates that one percent of the Foundation Formula equates to about $30 million statewide.
Rep. Joe Aull (D-Marshall) calls himself a strong supporter of professional development, but…
“I think we just have to all realize we’re in a survival mode right now and we’re going to have to do some things maybe that we don’t want to do just to give schools a chance to keep their doors open,” Aull said during House debate.
The amendment is part of a larger education bill, HB 1543, which the House is still working on. The House earlier approved a budget for the next fiscal year that would freeze education spending at the current level.