JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – The Missouri House has given preliminary approval to a plan to use $189 million of federal stimulus money for public schools. Some of the money would be used to offset shortfalls in casino taxes that were supposed to go to the schools.
Most of the money will be used to offset state revenue already budgeted for schools this year. This would allow state money to be saved and redistributed next year.
House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, said the plan would allow for a steadier funding stream than the plan proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon.
The governor’s plan would have used the federal money to boost school funding this year, then cut state aid next year. School officials would be asked to carry over some of their money from one year to the next.
Nixon’s administration supports Silvey’s plan, after learning from federal education officials that the stimulus money can be used to supplant state funds already budgeted for schools, The Associated Press reported.
The stimulus money is part of a $10 billion plan President Barack Obama signed in August to help schools cover salaries during the recession. The Missouri House gave initial approval by voice vote. The bill needs another vote before moving to the state Senate.