Basic school funding will likely be frozen last year, but more changes affecting the local school district bottom line are being considered at the Capitol.
A Senate budget committee has already proposed eliminating Career Ladder, a $37.4 million program that provides extra pay to teachers for extra work.
A leading legislator on education in the House, Rep. Maynard Wallace (R-Thornfield), has suggested that the state no longer provide a financial incentive for local districts to hold summer school.
“I don’t want to do that, because I believe in summer school,” Wallace tells the Missourinet. “But I would prefer to take summer school out rather than affecting the regular school year. Would I rather have summer school or would I rather have a First Grade with more students in it than I want? And my bottom line is I would rather keep my First Grade where I want it and eliminate summer school.”
Under the proposal, summer school attendance would no longer be used in a local school district’s calculation to receive basic school funding. That would save the state about $119 million in the coming fiscal year, approximately $130 million the following year. The Senate is debating the same issue.
Career Ladder might prove contentious between the House and Senate. State representatives have been hesitant to cut it next year, because teachers have already earned the money. About 18,000 of the state’s 70,000 teachers participate in Career Ladder.