Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Adequacy Case from a Rural Viewpoint

The adequacy case, against the state of Missouri, has gone over for several years and still continues, costing us millions of dollars so far. To date, the total money wasted hovers around $4.6 million. In 2004, the Committee for Educational Equality (CEE) claimed that the State was not paying enough into the education program, the minimum being set at 25%. During the trial, experts testified the state was actually spending over the required amount, almost 36%. The Committee to Fund Excellent Schools (CFES) and the St. Louis School board join this fight with the CEE, involving about half of the 524 school districts in Missouri. Judge Callahan ruled against them, saying the state is paying the required amount and saying the legislature has the power to set any such funding formula. Many districts have pulled out of this case, realizing it will just waste more of their students’ dollars. Columbia, a city near mine, is in unsure of their decision. Tom Rose, Karla DeSpain, and Michelle Gadbois, of the Columbia School Board, are all questioning Columbia’s involvement in the case.

Once Columbia pulls out, it will hopefully influence the surrounding small towns to follow suit. Our school has a limited budget and I am appalled to see that have wasted money on this case.

School funding does not have a direct correlation to student achievement. Study after study has shown that more spending does not increase achievement or graduation rates. Hopefully, the districts will realize this and stop wasting the tax dollars on this suit.

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