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Quade puts forth proposal to improve foundation formula

Changes would streamline process, make school funding more equitable
Minority Floor Leader Crystal Quade (MHDC)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, has filed legislation to improve the Missouri foundation formula, which determines how much funding the state distributes to school districts across the state.


House Bill 2494 would change the foundation formula’s current convoluted attendance metric to determine state funding for individual districts to the simpler, more streamlined metric of student enrollment. This simple change could bring millions more in appropriations to public schools.


“Missouri ranks dead last in the nation when it comes to state funding for public education, and the current foundation formula forces local school districts to make up for that lack of state funds, usually through raising local property taxes,” Quade said. “I filed this bill because it’s well past time the state of Missouri paid its fair share in educating Missouri children and eased the burden it currently places on local communities.”


Quade also noted that such a change would not only give more much-needed state funding to school districts across Missouri, it would also make funding across the state more equitable for districts that have higher rates of students with special education needs, those receiving free and reduced lunch and for students with limited English proficiency. Attendance-based metrics for education funding often disproportionately underfund these students, who typically need greater resources than the average student.


Quade acknowledges this change would only mark the first step in a long process to rectify the foundation formula, which has not seen a substantive change since 2016. However, she hopes addressing this need encourages others in the General Assembly to file bills of their own to solve the problems inherent to the foundation formula.


“Just about everyone involved in public education in Missouri knows the foundation formula is imperfect, but that it’s also unwieldy, complex and, frankly, intimidating.” Quade said. “With this bill, I hope the legislature can finally make one substantive change to the formula that leads to even more changes that better serve Missouri students.”



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