Funded: State Policy Analysis

A Detailed Look at Each State's Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Missouri
Funding Basics
Formula Type

Missouri has a primarily student-based funding formula. It assigns a cost to the education of a student with no special needs or services, called a base amount. It then accounts for the additional cost of educating specific categories of students both through program-specific allocations and by applying multipliers to the base amount to generate supplemental funding for certain students.

The categories of students generating supplemental funding in Missouri are low-income students, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Services for students enrolled in career and technical education programs and students in small schools are funded through program-specific allocations.

References:
Dorson, Roger and Jennifer Jordan.  State Basic Aid Formula, Tax Rates, Budget and Calendar. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, July 2015.
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. School Finance. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, September 2015.
Sutton, Doug. CCR-15-017 – Fiscal Year 2017 Vocational-Technical Education Enhancement Grants. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, October 16, 2015.
Base Amount

Missouri has a fixed base funding amount per student. For FY2016, the per-student base amount was $6,110.

This means that an average student with no special needs or disadvantages would be funded at that level.

This amount may be adjusted downward when the total state aid requirement exceeds the amount appropriated for it.

References:
Dorson, Roger and Jennifer Jordan.  State Basic Aid Formula, Tax Rates, Budget and Calendar. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, July 2015.
Expected Local Share

Missouri expects school districts to contribute revenue to the funding of public schools. The amount each district is expected to raise for its education costs is based on its property values: each district is expected to contribute $34.30 for every thousand dollars of property wealth, as assessed in the 2004-2005 school year, for the purpose of funding its schools.

If the local valuation has decreased below its valuation in that year, the state aid will rise to compensate; however, districts are not expected to increase their contribution if the local valuation increases. School districts in Missouri that choose to do so may raise less money locally than the expected amount, subject to a minimum of $27.50 per thousand dollars of property wealth, or more than the expected amount, subject to voter approval.

Once the property tax is levied, localities add a number of other taxes and revenue streams, such as the merchant’s and manufacturer’s tax and local earnings and income taxes, which are also pegged to 2004-2005 values. Taken together, these revenues produce the total local contribution amount that is deducted from the calculated by the state to be necessary to educate the students within each district to produce the state aid amount.

References:
Dorson, Roger. Coordinator. School Financial and Administrative Services. Missouri Department of Education. Email message to EdBuild. August 10, 2015.
Dorson, Roger and Jennifer Jordan.  State Basic Aid Formula, Tax Rates, Budget and Calendar. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, July 2015.
Student Characteristics
Grade Level

Missouri does not differentiate funding based on students’ grade levels.

English Language Learner

Missouri provides increased funding for English language learners (ELLs).  It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.6 to the base per-pupil amount for these students. However, increased funding is provided only for pupils above a certain prevalence threshold.

In 2014-15 and 2015-16, this threshold was 2.1%. The threshold for supplemental funding for English language learners is calculated as follows: First, the state identifies “performance districts” (those that have met certain performance standards). Then, the state calculates the average ELL enrollment percentage across these districts, excluding certain outlier districts; this becomes the enrollment threshold above which ELLs in each district generate supplemental funding.

References:
Dorson, Roger and Jennifer Jordan.  State Basic Aid Formula, Tax Rates, Budget and Calendar. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, July 2015.
Student Poverty

Missouri provides increased funding for students from low-income households.  It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.25 to the base per-pupil amount for these students. However, increased funding is provided only for pupils above a certain prevalence threshold.

Students are eligible for this supplemental funding if they qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (FRL) under the National School Lunch Program. The multiplier of 1.25 is applied to FRL-eligible students above a certain threshold that is recalculated every two years.  In 2014-15 and 2015-16, the threshold was 41% of district enrollment.

The threshold for supplemental funding for low-income students is calculated as follows: First, the state identifies “performance districts” (those that have met certain performance standards). Then, the state calculates the average FRL-eligible enrollment percentage across these districts, excluding certain outlier districts; this becomes the enrollment threshold above which low-income students in each district generate supplemental funding.

References:
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. School Finance. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, September 2015.
Mo. Ann. Stat. § 163.011
Special Education

Missouri funds special education using a single student weight system, providing the same amount of state funding for each student with disabilities, regardless of the severity of those disabilities. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.75 to the per-student base amount for students with disabilities.

However, the state only provides special education funding for students above a certain enrollment threshold. First, the state identifies “performance districts” (those that have met certain performance standards). Then, the state calculates the average special education enrollment percentage across these districts, excluding certain outlier districts; this becomes the enrollment threshold above which special education students in each district receive supplemental funding.

The remainder of state special education funding is distributed through reimbursements for the education of high-cost students (those that exceed three times that district’s current per-pupil expenditure), for students placed in a school outside their district of residence by a state agency, and for the Readers for the Blind Program.

References:
Division of Financial and Administrative Services. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. FY16 High Need Fund (HNF) Manual. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2015.
Division of Financial and Administrative Services. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Public Placement Fund (PPF) Manual. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2015.
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Readers for the Blind Manual. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2015.
Mo. Ann. Stat. § 163.011
Gifted

Missouri does not provide additional resources for gifted and talented students.

Career and Technical Education

Missouri provides specific funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs through a competitive grant.

The Vocational-Technical Education Enhancement Grant is available, by application, to districts seeking to expand career education offerings.

References:
Sutton, Doug. CCR-15-017 – Fiscal Year 2017 Vocational-Technical Education Enhancement Grants. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, October 16, 2015.
Community Characteristics
District Poverty

Missouri does not provide increased funding based on the concentration of students from low-income households in a particular district.

Sparsity and/or Small Size

Missouri provides increased funding for small schools through a flat per-student grant for all districts serving 350 students or less.

Each year, the amount per pupil is determined by dividing a $10 million appropriation by the total number of students statewide in qualifying districts. Funds are then distributed to each eligible district based on the number of students it serves.

Acceptable uses of this funding include distance learning; defraying extraordinary transportation costs; recruiting teachers for rural schools; and providing students with learning opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable within the district.

References:
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  School Finance. Jefferson, MO: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, October 2015.
Mo. Ann. Stat. § 163.044