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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Missouri should fund each student's education equally

By Ronald E. Levy
September 4, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

In 1994, Michigan replaced all unequal school district property taxes with a voter-approved statewide 2-cent sales tax increase, plus a 75-cent cigarette tax. Michigan could then fund each student's education equally.

Missouri can do the same. Missouri already has a statewide 1-cent sales tax for education. All unequal school property taxes on Missouri's homes, business properties and automobiles could be eliminated.

It was done successfully in New Zealand, which had a failing public school system. They eliminated all school boards who were spending 70 percent of their budgets on administration. Every single school came under the control of a board of trustees elected by the parents of that school and by nobody else. New Zealand equally funds each student's education. Missouri can do the same and eliminate all school boards and school districts in the process.

January 15, 1993: the Honorable Byron L. Kinder of the Cole County Circuit Court declared, “The public school system of Missouri is a state system, not separate district systems.”

There are about 2,200 public schools in Missouri. Each school can operate separately, with each school under the control of a board of trustees elected by the parents of that school and by nobody else. Contact your Missouri senator and state representative and let's get school reform done all on the same day. Let Missouri voters vote to replace all unequal school property taxes with an additional 1-cent sales tax increase, plus a 75-cent cigarette tax, and give equal funding to all Missouri students.

Ronald E. Levy, of St. Louis County, is a former write-in candidate for Missouri's governor. He blogs at missourischoolreform.blogspot.com.