JEFFERSON CITY • A bill that would provide Normandy School District with $5 million to finish out the school year passed the Missouri House today by a vote of 147 to 7.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, would supplement the current year's budget.
Without the $5 million, Normandy would run out of money by April and its students would be sent to other districts. Normandy has about 3,000 students and 1,000 more who decided to transfer.
Normandy was financially solvent and stable prior to last summer’s state Supreme Court ruling that upheld the transfer law, which allows children in unaccredited school districts to transfer to better schools at their home district's expense. But the resulting $1.3 million in monthly tuition and transportation expenses has the district spending down its savings, potentially leaving it unable to meet payroll expenses by April.
Lawmakers have previously voiced their wariness about offering up $5 million to keep Normandy's doors open, because it would set a precedent.
Last month, the members of the Missouri Board of Education voted unanimously to take financial control of the district to assure lawmakers that any appropriation would be judiciously spent.
Stream's bill also includes $22 million for the Foundation Formula, which funds the state's K-12 public schools. This number is half of what Gov. Jay Nixon recommended in January to make up for the $44.1 million shortfall in riverboat gaming, lottery and other revenues.
The $69 million Nixon recommended to replace a shortfall in tobacco settlement payments to the state remains in the bill and was not addressed by any House members Tuesday or Wednesday.
The bill now moves to the Senate.
(House Bill 2014)