Nixon to spread education cuts to all districts

JEFFERSON CITY | Gov. Jay Nixon says he will ignore lawmakers' instructions to shield more than one-quarter of Missouri's public school districts from a midyear funding cut. Instead, Nixon plans to spread the pain to all districts.

Nixon signed a midyear spending bill Tuesday, but he says it was unconstitutional for legislators to use the measure to try to exempt some districts from a cut.

Nixon directed state education officials to follow their initial plan of dividing a $43 million shortfall in state aid among all districts. Lawmakers had tried to overrule that by exempting about 150 districts from the reduction.

Reaction among lawmakers was mixed. Some accused Nixon of overstepping his authority while others praised the move as providing stability for schools.