Nixon approves Missouri preschool funding bill

Missouri's school funding formula could be expanded to include preschool students under legislation signed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The bill signed Wednesday would take effect gradually over the next several years.

Unaccredited school districts could start counting preschool students in their attendance figures used for calculating state funding beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.

Preschool funding would kick in the next year for provisionally accredited districts.

All other districts could start getting money for preschool students only after the state has fully funded the amount called for by a formula for elementary and secondary schools. The state currently is hundreds of millions of dollars short of full funding.

The preschool funding would be limited only to a certain portion of students eligible for free or discounted lunches in each district.