JEFFERSON CITY - The House passed a new scholarship for high school students who take college-level classes, pass a national examination, and attend a higher-education institute in Missouri.
But whether the scholarship will have any money backing it up is still in question.
Funding for the scholarship will come from riverboat gambling, but not until the year 2000, according to the bill's provisions.
"In 2000 it will be funded out of admission to riverboats, until then we'll work for General Revenue," said Rep. Steve Stoll, D-Festus, sponsor of the bill.
Until 2000, Stoll will have to request funding from General Revenue but he points out that the amount isn't that much.
For instance, in 1994, if money was appropriated for all high school students eligible for the scholarship, meaning they had passed two or three exams and did not receive any other scholarships, the amount would have been $650,000.
The scholarship is planned to be available for high school students beginning college in the 1997-98 academic year.
Stoll, who has taught advanced placement history, said he was thinking of students who take advance placement classes or who are in the International Bacclaureate Program for the scholarship. Both programs are offered in Missouri high schools and have national exams.
Under the bill, students who pass two exams would receive $500 and students who pass three exams would receive $1000. The scholarships are renewable to students who stay in good academic standing.
This scholarship is different from Bright Flight which awards $2000 to students who receive a 31 on the ACT and is also renewable.
"If they get this and Bright Flight, they would have to pick," Stoll, who has taught advanced placement history, said. "Bright Flight really rewards students who have a natural, god-given intelligence. This rewards kids who are bright but are willing to work really hard to take these examinations."
Stoll said he estimates 30 percent of high schools offer advanced placement classes.
"I'm hoping that this scholarship would expand the number of schools offering AP classes," he said.