Missouri Supreme Court hears school funding challenge

Monday, May 18, 2009 | 11:26 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — After five years and millions of dollars of legal expenses, the state Supreme Court finally is hearing arguments over Missouri's school funding method.

The seven-member high court was to consider claims Monday that Missouri fails to provide enough money to public schools and distributes that money unfairly.

The lawsuit by about half of Missouri's 523 school districts was filed in January 2004.

The next year, Missouri lawmakers changed the school funding formula, but most schools pressed ahead with the lawsuit.

Cole County Judge Richard Callahan ruled against the suing schools in 2007. At the time, the case already had cost taxpayers more than $4.6 million, counting money spent by school districts and the attorney general's office.

Schools appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court.


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