Missouri state budget leader wants to increase education funding in governor’s budget proposal

The Chairman of the Missouri House Budget committee said he generally agrees with Gov. Eric Greitens’ budget approach, but will consider funding changes for K-12 education. Greitens’ $27 billion proposed state spending plan that begins July 1 includes a reduction of $31 million to K-12 schools’ busing budget.

“We will look at some of the things the governor’s done in education,” said Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob. “I’m glad that he was able to hold the foundation formula (for state aid to K-12 education) flat in his budget but we’ll look at if there’s a way for us to increase that appropriation while maintaining the overall level of appropriations that the governor and the legislature had previously agreed to.”

Greitens’ proposed $159 million in higher education reductions could have gone much deeper if the governor hadn’t spread budget cuts as he did, according to Fitzpatrick. He says the governor recommended “a pretty sizable amount of money” for Missouri’s colleges and universities in the proposed budget, noting that colleges and universities are expensive to maintain and they have many other revenue sources besides state funding.

Fitzpatrick says he also wants to review the foundation formula that’s used to fund K-12 schools and figure out what it would take to fully fund the formula.

The legislature has until the beginning of May to pass a state budget.

Read more: Missourinet

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