Gasconade R-2 officials testify in House hearing seeking approval of dollar value modifier bill

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 3/23/22

Gasconade County R-2 Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy and Board of Education President Glenn Ely testified Tuesday during an 8 a.m. hearing before a House of Representatives committee in support of …

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Gasconade R-2 officials testify in House hearing seeking approval of dollar value modifier bill

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Gasconade County R-2 Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy and Board of Education President Glenn Ely testified Tuesday during an 8 a.m. hearing before a House of Representatives committee in support of the dollar value modifier that, if passed, would bring an additional $1 million dollars in revenue to the district.

“I think it went really well,” Hardy said Tuesday afternoon. “Representative (Bruce) Sassmann feels like it went well.”

Sassmann, 62nd District, R-Bland, filed the dollar value modifier under HB 2445. A similar bill, Senate Bill 818, has also been filed by 6th District State Senator Mike Bernskoetter. If approved and signed by the governor, either bill “will let a school district in Gasconade County that covers part of another county use the county financial figures that would provide the highest amount of state funds for the district under the state School Foundation Program that allocates state funds to public schools. Part of that formula is based on financial data of the district’s county.”

Sassmann also presented House members with a packet and explained the information.

“He had pretty well taken information on the dollar value modifier and researched explaining what those things were and how it plays into the foundation formula and the difference between micropolitan and metropolitan areas to explain the difference,” Hardy said. “He had done a lot of independent research on top of the packet that was originally submitted to him. It was a well-written packet submitted on our behalf.”

Hardy and Ely also testified in favor of both bills on March 15 in a Senate committee hearing. The Senate’s executive session was also Tuesday morning.

“We had heard that a decision could be made as early as today, but if they did, it hasn’t been posted yet,” Hardy said on Tuesday. “I looked before I walked out of the office and it hasn’t been updated yet,” Hardy said as of 2 p.m. on Tuesday. “There are no results online yet. I have checked. Representative Sassmann is very positive and felt very confident in the bill. Both our senator and our representative support our bill.”

Hardy had informed the board of education on March 21 that she would be testifying in the House committee hearing.

“This is very exciting,” she said. “If the bill passes in both the House and Senate, that bill would give us more than a million dollars a year in our budget.”

Hardy said she didn’t want to get her hopes up that the bill would pass.

“I want to say yes, it will pass, but don’t want to get our hopes up too high,” she said. “It would greatly benefit our district.”

Former superintendent Dr. Chuck Garner had been working to see the dollar value modifier bill passed for several years since he started with the district. Garner had high hopes that the value modifier would pass during the last session, but legislators ran out of time.

R-2 directors also voted Monday to rescind a resignation submitted last month by its middle school principal, Teresa Schulte. 

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