Financial Resources

Accomplishment of the full potential of a well formulated vision for public education in Missouri is dependent on the availability of adequate fiscal resources. A commitment to identifying and documenting the most effective and efficient expenditure of tax revenues and other funding sources is imperative. Although strategies can and should be identified for enhancement of instruction and learning that do not necessarily require greater expenditures, a commitment to enabling all students to attain their potential can only be realized if it is accompanied by a recognition that essential programs, services, and personnel can only be provided with an appropriate level of financial support. An optimal revenue structure must be identified and implemented to make this financial commitment to high quality public education possible. Both state and local revenues must be examined; however, the source of fiscal resources should not detract from the objective of realizing the vision for public education for children throughout the state of Missouri. Recognition must be given to the fact that students’ varying needs and circumstances require differentiated expenditures to be successful in school, and a process must be implemented for determining the costs associated with educating students of different ages, from different backgrounds, and possessing a variety of disabling conditions.

This component identifies and describes those elements which are essential in ensuring that financial resources are adequate and are distributed equitably to guarantee an equal educational opportunity for all students wherever they reside in Missouri.

Planning Group




Randal Charles St. Charles R-VI Co-Chair/Superintendent
Phil Hutchinson
Grain Valley R-V
Co-Chair/Board Member
Mike Parnell MSBA Facilitator
Ron Lankford DESE Liaison
Eric Churchwell Palmyra R-I Superintendent
Freddie Doherty Oak Grove R-VI Superintendent
Keith Dorsch Wellington-Napoleon R-IX Board Member
Darin Ford Centralia R-VI Superintendent
Bruce Johnson Stanberry R-II Superintendent
Kyle Kruse New Haven Superintendent
Clay Loveland Sparta R-III Board Member
Kent Medlin Willard R-II Superintendent
Rocky Miller School of the Osage Board Member
Francis Moran Past President Past President
Roy Moss Grain Valley R-V Superintendent
Randy Spurlock Ava R-I Board Member
Diane Watson St. Joseph Board Member
James Welker Cape Girardeau Superintendent

Guiding Principles

Securing and maintaining stable and adequate financial resources for all public school districts is critical to the success of the state of Missouri.

The federal and state governments as well as local communities share the responsibility for providing stable and adequate financial resources for public schools.

Local school boards and superintendents must be good stewards of the financial resources provided for their school districts and must be accountable for their use.

The integrity of public education should not be undermined by encroachments originating from statutes, policies, programs or initiatives which erode the financial support of, and ultimately threaten the very existence of, public education.

Key Issues

Currently identified key issues include the following which arecorrelated to the Guiding Principles.

  • A clear definition of adequate must be developed. (GP: I)
  • Issues related to consistency and “worth of property” as such relates to assessment practices must be addressed. (GP: I, IV)
  • To insure successful implementation and prevent diversion of local funds, all federal and state mandates should be fully funded by the mandating governmental body or agency. (GP: I, II)
  • To insure continuing support and effective program implementation, local school boards should have full autonomy and flexibility in determining the use of funds. (GP: III)
  • The concepts of adequate and equitable as they apply to state and local funding of Missouri public schools should be clearly and accurately defined through a research based study of effective schools to include the use of data analysis.  (GP: I)
  • Options for development and implementation of additional local and county revenue streams should be provided. (GP: I, II)
  • Sources of development and implementation of additional state revenue streams should be provided. (GP: I, II)
  • Practices which entice voter support of issues using education as part of a “bait and switch” need to be avoided. (GP: I)
  • Programs and initiatives, regardless of origination, which divert state funding from public schools including: vouchers, un-funded mandates, underfunded mandates, open enrollment, TIFs and Tax Credits, undermine and threaten the integrity of public education.  (GP: I, IV)
  • Barriers to a cooperative approach to the challenges facing public education often arise from local, state and federal levels.(GP: II)
  • Local vested interests often become barriers to what may be best for the entire state. (GP: II)
  • Appropriate motivation, commitment, training and development of members of local boards of education must be a priority for individuals. (GP: III)
  • Communication between and among the various publics about the status of public education finance and local practices must be consistent. (GP: II, III)
  • The extent of local control is often referenced but not consistently applied. (GP: III)
  • Local financial support should never be a limiting factor upon the state and federal obligation to fund publication education or programs and services provided through local public education agencies. (GP: I, II, III, IV)
  • Open enrollment has the potential for impacting district financially and, if implemented, must be done with due consideration and extreme caution involving not only legislators but local district officials throughout the state.  (GP: II, IV)