Sikeston could spend $6,000 on funding suit

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Standard Democrat

SIKESTON, Mo. -- The Sikeston School District expects to $5,000 to $6,000 as its share of legal expenses for a lawsuit against the state.

"That's a drop in the bucket compared to what we could potentially benefit from this in the long run, if indeed it is successful," said superintendent Steve Borgsmiller. "This is a great investment for our school."

In May, the Sikeston School District joined other schools as members of the Committee for Educational Equality, which is now proposing to sue the state of Missouri over funding.

At the time of entrance into the effort, Sikeston Schools paid an initial assessment of $200. At Thursday's board of education meeting, Borgsmiller asked board members to approve an expense of $944, or 25 cents per student, according to Sikeston's average daily attendance, to cover background informational expenses for the lawsuit. The board approved the expense.

"This is the effort that we're trying to take part in as we did in the late 1980s and early 1990s to promote an equity and adequacy in state funding," Borgsmiller told the board.

Last week at a state superintendent's meeting, the administrators voted to pursue the litigation, Borgsmiller said. The CEE has the same attorney, Alex Bartlett, that it used years ago, and he anticipates that once he has all the information he needs the lawsuit can be filed as early as November.

Currently there are 147 active members in CEE, but Borgsmiller said additional groups and schools are expected to join, which will lower the cost of litigation.

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