K-12 Public School Finance in Missouri: An Overview
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The level and distribution of spending for public K-12 education remains a contentious matter of policy in many states because of increasing expectations for school performance and widespread school finance litigation. In this paper, the authors examine the policies that have generated school funding in Missouri and the outcomes of these policies in terms of the overall level of school spending and interdistrict spending gaps. Interdistrict inequality in average spending is higher in Missouri than in surrounding states, but the spending gaps are equalizing in the sense that poor children tend to be concentrated in districts with above-average spending. A new school funding formula is grounded on a purported link between spending and student achievement. Since that association is tenuous statistically, challenges are likely to arise as this new scheme is fully implemented.
M. Podgursky and M. Springer. 2006. "K-12 Public School Finance in Missouri: An Overview." Regional Economic Development. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Vol 2. No. 1, pp. 31-50.