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Doug Kempker, superintendent, St. Elizabeth R-IV School District

St. Elizabeth

Dear Editor:

In response to the opinion published on April 14 titled, "Luetkemeyer's disdain for education funding," I would respectfully disagree with the statement, "our voices in the federal government should not have disdain for that entity." U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer's position is to represent the constituents in the 3rd Congressional District from the State of Missouri. His position is to help all students and teachers within his districts.

Here are some facts that have nothing to do with, "the 1 percent versus the mere wealthy that object to fairly funding our K-12 educational system, with federal money."

The federal government allocated $784,055,062 to the state of Missouri based on the federal Title I formula.

According to DESE, there are 915,180 students in the state of Missouri that this money is designated to help.

Average cost per student if allocated evenly, $856.71

There are 221 school districts that receive less than that average with 530,108 students, which accounts for 57.9 percent of the students in Missouri.

My current district receives $287.83 per student (265 students) for a total of $76,274 while the largest dispersed to Middle Grove C-1 with 32 students is $13,254 per student for a total of $424,146.

The article states "The congressman wanted to call to our attention that 'the bill passed with the errant formula still intact' but neglected to mention this was done the exact same way under the 'Cares Act' — when they controlled the White House — and the 'American Rescue Plan.'" This is not a Democratic/Republican issue. I invite those believing that it is the wealthy versus the poor to come to my school district. I will let you come into the cafeteria and point out to me the students who tested positive for COVID-19 and then point out the ones on the Title 1 formula. Explain to me why my students cannot get the COVID help they need and schools with more Title I students get more funding to help theirs. I would bet that you cannot identify their COVID or Title 1 students either.

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