Missouri’s Charter Equity Victory Punctuates National Charter Schools Week
The Missouri General Assembly passed a bill equalizing funding for charter school students with their district school peers in a bipartisan vote Thursday.
Under the previous formula, charter students in Kansas City received $1,700 less per year while students in St. Louis received $2,500 less per year than students in district schools.
School choice advocates in the Show-Me State worked for four years to “Fix the Glitch” in the funding formula. American Federation for Children-Missouri state lead and former State Representative Jean Evans lead a coalition of school choice advocates in 2022 to bring the legislation across the finish line.
The victory presents an exclamation mark on the celebration of National Charter Schools Week and speaks to the growing popularity of charter schools nationally in a season when they are increasingly coming under attack from the federal Department of Education.
Statement from Jean Evans, State Lead, American Federation for Children-Missouri:
“This is a great day for Missouri public school students, particularly those in Charter Schools. Funding equity is long overdue and will ensure that all public school students are on an equal playing field with regard to state spending on education. I’m grateful for the bipartisan group of legislators who worked together to make this happen.”
- Charter schools in Missouri are currently limited to the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City, but their funding formula was benchmarked to outdated property values, leading to a significant gap in funding compared to district school students.
- The bill equalizes the funding, which will now be based on the Missouri Funding Formula.
- The bill also includes additional charter and virtual education accountability measures and $62 million for public schools in St. Louis and Kansas City.
- The “Fix the Glitch” legislation passed the Senate 29-5 and the House 116-29 in bipartisan votes.
- Missouri Governor Mike Parson is expected to sign the measure after a review by his legal team.