In a recent article by the Columbia Tribune, the Missouri Gaming Commission and the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education explained why Prop A money should not be counted on:
[Gene McNary, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC)] visited casinos in St. Louis and Kansas City last week and said managers are “feeling that people are cutting back on the amounts they will lose and the number of times they’ll play.”
The casino initiative went into effect immediately after the election, which means casinos already have begun paying higher taxes. But school districts don’t expect to see any new revenue until summer.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) “told us not to expect a penny until July 1 at the earliest,” Quinley said.
“We’re telling” districts “not to appropriate any of the money yet,” [DESE Associate Commissioner Gerri Ogle] said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
So the earliest schools could see money is after July 2009, but that assumes the casinos even provide enough money to schools to make a difference. With the casinos’ chief lobbyist, Mike Winter, backpedaling on the casinos’ ability to meet their promise of money to schools, and now with MGC’s Executive Director making the same statement, combined with DESE’s “wait and see” statement, the outlook for Missouri schools doesn’t seem too promising.