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Mo. House leader wants to fully fund K-12 schools

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Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
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House Budget Chair Allen Icet (R, Wildwood) takes questions from reporters during a press conference at the State Capitol.

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Despite Missouri's ever-decreasing revenue picture, the chair of the House Budget Committee wants to fully fund the state's public schools.

Allen Icet (R, Wildwood) is proposing increasing K-12 funding by $106 million while cutting other areas of state government to make up the difference.

"It's in the (budget) bills...now; does it survive the light of day till they land on the governor's desk? I don't know, it's a process...so people have different priorities and we'll see where it goes," Icet said during a press conference at the State Capitol.

But it may go nowhere in the Missouri Senate. President Pro-tem Charlie Shields (R, St. Joseph) told a separate gathering of reporters that the lower revenue estimates might make it impossible to fully fund K-12 schools next year.

"I think that issue's back up in the air...I'm not sure that's in the realm of possibility, given the notion now that we're probably going to (be) $400 or $500 million below where we thought we were going to be," Shields said.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon proposed an $18 million increase for K-12 schools during his State of the State Address in January, which is $87 million below what would be considered fully funding Missouri's public schools.

Icet is also running for State Auditor.

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