The state will receive a $6.1 billion budget request for the next fiscal year to fund Missouri’s K through 12 public schools – an increase of about $100 million from the previous year’s request.
For the first time in Missouri history, the state legislature and governor have fully funded the formula used to finance Missouri’s schools. That move comes at a cost. Board President Charlie Shields, a former Missouri Senate President Pro Tem, says the board’s proposal includes a $98 million increase to fully fund the formula.
“We realize there are a lot of pressures on the state budget,” says Shields. “Certainly, you look at that $98 million foundation formula and that’s a huge pressure on the state budget.”
Department and board officials will explain minimums needed to fund core items like busing. The agency’s transportation sector is underfunded by about $180 million.
Shields says about $48 million of the proposed increase is also from newly-required pre-kindergarten funding.
“Because it (the formula) was fully funded, it triggered this piece for pre-K education. This is a significant increase in the formula cost but is driven by legislation,” says Shields.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has about 1,700 full-time equivalent workers.
State law requires the department to have a budget request to the Missouri Office of Administration by October 1.
The state’s overall fiscal year budget is about $27 billion, with about $8.2 billion, or about one-third, sucked up by the state’s Medicaid costs.