St. Louis Public Radio News
6:02 pm
Tue September 1, 2009

Mo. Supreme Court upholds school funding formula

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that the state's public schools are sufficiently funded.

Nearly half of Missouri's school districts had sued the state. They argued that the funding formula adopted by lawmakers in 2005 did not provide enough money for public schools, and that those funds were not fairly distributed.

But the state's High Court unanimously rejected those arguments.

House Budget Chairman Allen Icet (R, Wildwood) is pleased with the ruling.

"Given the financial difficulty we're facing right now, had something been handed down from the (Supreme) Court that (would make) the state have to spend additional money above what we're putting in, I honestly don't know how we would have done it," Icet said.

House Minority Floor Leader Paul LeVota (D, Independence) released a written statement, that reads, in part:

"The Missouri Supreme Court today ruled that the state's method of funding local public schools meets the minimum constitutional requirements. The court, however, did not rule that the state is doing all it can to improve the quality of public education. Although the bare minimum may be sufficient to comply with the state constitution, Missouri children deserve an educational system that provides much more than the bare minimum."