Lawmakers review school district debt limit

Some growing Missouri schools and small districts lacking high-dollar property are facing challenges to fund needed construction projects because of a state cap on debt.

The Missouri Constitution limits a school district's debt to 15 percent of the taxable tangible property in that district. A state House committee this past week considered a proposal that would allow local voters to approve some wiggle room.

Residents would need to approve by simple majority vote a measure allowing the district to borrow more -- up to 25 percent. During the same election, voters would need to approve by supermajority vote a specific bonding plan.

The Missouri School Boards' Association says there is pent up demand for school construction projects and that completing the projects can improve schools and help the economy.