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Under legislation that's been signed into law, dozens of school districts in Missouri will now have to report to the state whether or not they're providing students with an adequate education. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports
Under legislation that's been signed into law, dozens of school districts in Missouri will now have to report to the state whether or not they're providing students with an adequate education.
The requirement applies to schools with local operating levies below the so-called performance levy set by the state.
If a school district declares it is NOT providing an adequate education, then the state assumes the inadequacy is due to a lack of local funding.
Schools involved in a funding lawsuit against the state say this is an attack on them.
Stephen Kleinsmith is superintendent of Nixa Public Schools and treasurer of the Committee for Educational Equality...That's the group of school districts that's suing the state because they say state education funding is inadequate.
The sponsor of the bill is Republican Senator Gary Nodler of Joplin.
He's also chair of the Senate Education Committee.
Nodler says his bill is a legislative response to the school funding lawsuit.
Nodler says the bill shouldn't be a burden to districts.
He says school boards and administrators should be evaluating the adequacy of the education their providing to students.
But opponents of the bill say it forces school boards and administrators into a difficult position by placing the blame on them for failing to raise enough local funds.
Nixa school superintendent Stephen Kleinsmith says many school districts provide an adequate education with inadequate state funds.
He says Nixa is a case in point.
Klensmith says the next hearing on the school funding lawsuit is in January.
He says he trusts the courts to do the right thing for public education.
Some lawmakers had hoped to end the lawsuit last year by passing a new school funding formula...While the formula did cause some districts to drop out of the suit, others are pushing ahead with litigation...They say the new formula is no better than the old one at providing adequate funds to schools.