Missouri falls short of the goal the Legislature set in fully funding K-12 education but State Senator Jay Wasson (R-Nixa) thinks changing the school funding formula could help. He’s proposing a bill that would put a cap within the formula.

Sen. Jay Wasson (R-Nixa)

Sen. Jay Wasson (R-Nixa)

“All we’re trying to do is establish a cap so the formula can’t grow until we can’t afford it and get rid of it,” said Wasson. “I think it’s a good formula. It’s probably as fair as we can make it.”

Wasson said starting from scratch on a new formula would be a very big undertaking by the Legislature.

In 2004, the Legislature passed a school funding formula with a 5% limit but removed that cap a couple years later. Wasson’s proposal would have a 200% growth limit.

He said a few schools are spending at a very fast rate.

“They are probably extremely fast growing schools but they don’t portray the average school,” said Wasson. “The cap keeps schools from being disproportionately effective in their spending on the formula,” said Wasson.

Missouri has about a 10% shortfall in K-12 funding.

Wasson offered last year an amendment that would have put a cap within the funding formula. The amendment was attached to a bill aimed at addressing student transfer issues at some St. Louis area schools. That bill passed the Legislature but was vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon.