Missouri State Auditor
Nicole Galloway today released a report that examined funding trends in K-12
education in the state. The report found Missouri ranks near the bottom for the
portion of classroom funding that comes from state sources and the formula
calculating per-student funding has not kept up with inflation.
"The state is not
stepping up to meet the needs of students in Missouri, shifting the burden and
leaving Missourians paying higher property taxes to support their schools,"
Auditor Galloway said. "The opportunity for a quality education is key to
ensuring economic growth. My report details the facts that can spur change at
the state level so we no longer rank at the bottom when it comes to supporting
The report looked at the
portion of school funding that comes from state sources. In Missouri, state
funding accounts for about 32% of per-student funding. That places Missouri at
49th nationally for percentage of school resources coming from state funding.
As a result, schools rely heavily on local sources like property taxes to fund
The issue of Missourians
carrying a greater tax burden at the local level was first discussed by Auditor
Galloway in a report released in February 2018 that examined the state's annual budgeting
process. That report found 68 percent of local school districts had seen an
increase in reliance on local funding over the past 10 years.
The report also looked
at funding provided through the State Adequacy Target (SAT), the mechanism used
to determine whether the state has met its obligation to fund schools. This
funding has not kept up with inflation.
The report looked at 10
years of data and found that from 2013-2017, the state did not meet its
per-student funding obligation, a number that is based on average operating
expenditures of the 25 top-performing school districts. Changes were made to
the formula to cap growth and limit increases. While these changes have
resulted in the formula being fully funded, the current formula to calculate
the amount distributed has not kept up with inflation.
The complete audit
report is available here.