More lawmakers are starting to see the need for better-funded transportation in all of our school districts across the state. The governor made this one of the cornerstones of his State of the State Address last month. Now, legislation may hold the key to keeping buses running and students where they need to be.
Senate Bill 528 would require the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to transfer any excess Foundation Formula funding to the newly established School Transportation Fund. In the past, we have funded school transportation costs at a higher level. Unfortunately, funding has diminished. The governor indicated he would like to see an additional $10 million in funding go toward school transportation needs.
Senate Bill 528 would take excess revenues that go into the Foundation Funding Formula and add them to the School Transportation Fund. The Foundation Formula is the basic way by which we fairly fund all school districts in Missouri. On occasion, there may be some “leftover” dollars, which are carried over into the next year. This new law would create a place for the funds to go, and still focus on education.
This measure was the first to be considered by the full Missouri Senate this week, and now moves to the Missouri House of Representatives for similar consideration. I do hope my colleagues there move this vital legislation quickly through the process, so we can continue to help students throughout Missouri safely make it to and from school as soon as possible.
As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is 573-751-1415, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.
Dan Hegeman is the 12th District State Senator.