The Missouri Senate endorsed a budget plan Monday that ensures a funding increase for public education but will require negotiations with the House to hammer out the final specifics.
Illinois gives the least amount of state aid to its schools in the nation.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, said this was probably the most difficult budget year ever.
Schools in Missouri will receive about $6.8 million that Jay Nixon previously cut.
The bill would create higher accountability standards for charter schools as well as allowing them to expand to more unaccredited districts.
Nixon plans to soften his proposed cuts to Missouri’s public universities with $40 million from a pending national mortgage settlement.
The state is currently $268 million below what is needed to fully fund Missouri’s schools.