Would the 65% Solution Work in Our Schools?

Would the 65% Solution Work in Our Schools?
By: Holly Brantley
Chaffee, MO - There’s a solution pending in Missouri that has some school leaders worried. They say moving your tax money around could create a dilemma.
The so-called 65% Solution would require school districts to spend at least that much of their budget on student instruction. Some school leaders say their budgets should be left to local school boards.
The Chaffee Board of Education doesn't like Governor Blunt’s proposal. They've sent the Governor a resolution asking him to reconsider his 65% Solution. Chaffee educators say they are committed to making good decisions for students at the local level and they say they don't need the state to tell them how to spend the district’s money.
“We fell like this is a local control issue as far as how we spend revenue,” said Chaffee Superintendent Arnold Bell. “If the board does not make good decisions then the citizen’s have the right to elect somebody they feel will.”

Bell says the so-called Solution has more to do with politics and less to do with education. “We've seen it in writing between legislators,” said Bell.

Principal Neil Glass says the proposal puts the burden on smaller districts, like Chaffee. “We already spent about 61.5% in the classroom nationally,” said Glass. It’s a lot harder for a small district to make up the other 3.5% than a larger district. There’s no correlation between the amount of money spent on a child and student achievement. There’s nothing out there that says it makes a difference.” Teachers agree local educators know what’s best for local districts. “I think it would be damaging to public school systems to be told how to spend money. There are already people in place to make those decisions,” Sid Atkins said.
Superintendent Bell says legislation like the 65% Solution ties the hands of school boards and prevents them from being able to make the best decision for students.
If the bill is approved it would be on the ballot for Missouri voters to decide in November.