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Your Help is Needed for a "Fair for All" School Funding Formula

Time is running out. Last week the Missouri Senate passed SB 287, the education funding bill. This bill will now move to the House of Representatives. If the current proposal is not improved, we will wind up with another formula that does NOT help Parkway or our taxpayers. These next two weeks prior to May 6 are CRITICAL to make personal contact with legislators regarding the following major concerns for Parkway: 1. There needs to be a growth factor built into the formula to account for inflation. Parkway's state aid of $294 per student has been frozen for 12 years, and it would not be fair to have another 12 years with little or no growth. 2. Inconsistencies in assessment practices across the state must be fixed. Otherwise, we believe the formula will continue to unfairly distribute state aid. We in the St. Louis region have experienced ever-increasing reassessments while other areas have maintained relatively low assessed values for many years. This results in lower property taxes in underassessed areas and more state aid for their school districts. The legislature can and should remedy this. 3. A cost of education factor, called the dollar value modifier (DVM), must remain in the proposal and be increased if possible. There is an actual 50 to 80 percent difference in costs and wages around the state, yet current proposals are providing for a DVM of approximately 1.1 (10 percent), for St. Louis County districts. Although not an accurate reflection of the true difference in cost, a DVM of 1.1 or higher is a step in the right direction and must be kept in SB 287. Now is the time to build a new formula on solid and fair principles in order for it to be equitable to all districts! To determine your state legislators, visit the St. Louis County Election web site by clicking on the link below. For a sample letter and Parkway legislator information, visit the government relations page on the Parkway web site at http://www.pkwy.k12.mo.us/gov/fundingLetter.html If you have any questions, please contact Diana Stewart in Public Affairs at (314) 415-8082.