Several major provisions of Missouri's new
school funding law will take effect only if the parties to
St. Louis' 26-year-old desegregation case reach a
settlement. Many other features are slated to kick in
regardless of whether such a deal is reached.
Provisions Contingent on
City-suburban transfer program: Sets
up a nonprofit corporation to administer the voluntary
transfer of students from St. Louis to nearby suburbs
and from those districts to city magnet schools.
Provides for state aid to subsidize the transfers.
Redistribution of state aid: Changes
the state aid formula to reward districts that have
high local tax rates and large numbers of poor children
qualifying for free or subsidized lunches. Funnels
more money not only to Kansas City and St. Louis, but
also about $37 million annually to other districts
Kansas City: Generates an estimated $28
million more each year for Kansas City, Mo., school.
That money would help offset the far larger loss in
state subsidies set to occur next year under a deal in
that city's desegregation case.
Provisions Not Dependent on
status for St. Louis: Creates a "transitional"
school board, overlaying the existing board, to oversee
implementation of a settlement in the desegregation
case. The mayor, City Council, and school board each
appoint a member to the new board, which would be
responsible for seeking voter approval of a local tax
increase to help replace court-ordered state
governance changes: Phases out the current St.
Louis school board, whose 12 members are elected at
large to six-year terms, replacing it with a
seven-member board elected from subdistricts for
schools: Authorizes charter schools in Kansas
City and St. Louis, sponsored by either the city
school board or a higher education institution. Limits
the number of existing schools that can convert to
charter status to 5 percent districtwide.
takeovers: Authorizes state education
officials to take temporary control of districts that
lose their state accreditation and fail to win it back
after two years.
schools: Requires Kansas City, St. Luis, and
other districts with graduation rates below 65 percent
to identify "academically deficient" schools and
authorizes the districts to reconstitute those
schools–restaff them and start from
scratch–or convert them to charter status. Also
allows the state to create parent-dominated
accountability councils in low-performing schools to
help oversee changes aimed at raising student
and tenure: Extends a tax credit to employers
of up to $2,000 per student for the costs of mentoring
at-risk students through programs approved by local
districts according to state regulations. Eliminates
tenure for principals in St. Louis, the only district
statewide to grant them that protection. Also extends
the provisional period before teachers earn tenure in
the city from three to five years..