Inequities in Missouri school funding remain despite changes in school spending in 1993, based on data from the 1998-99 school year. School spending in Missouri and Illinois vary wildly, from less than $4,000 a student in some districts to more than $16,000: the gaps are wider in Illinois. High spending doesn't always buy luxury, however; in rural districts, transportation can eat up the budget. Also, children from low-income families aren't necessarily stuck in districts with lower spending; top-spending districts in Missouri have slightly more children living at or near poverty. Missouri and Illinois are reviewing their school funding formulas, but in the current political climate, change could come slowly, if at all.
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