Missouri Headed Toward More Pre-K Funding

May 22, 2017

Credit Rachel Rice / KBIA

Missouri school districts are looking forward to the possibility of more funding for early childhood education next year.

Lawmakers this year, for the first time in recent memory, hit their self-imposed target for school funding at roughly $3.4 billion. That triggers a law that requires the state to spend more next year on pre-K education.

It's a move that Republicans have lauded as a monumental step for education. But some educators and lawmakers question whether the state can afford it.

The program could cost nearly $68 million if all districts take advantage. Some lawmakers worry that the increased cost could put a strain on already depleted state revenues.

The National Institute of Early Childhood Education ranked Missouri 33rd in state pre-K spending in 2015.