Some Missouri school districts to pay for ACT

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Several Missouri school districts are planning to pick up the tab so high school juniors can continue to take the ACT college entrance exam for free after the state announced it would stop covering the cost.

The St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia districts are among those that will pay. Several others, including Springfield, are considering it.

Missouri began in 2015 paying for juniors to take the test once. Advocates say that encourages students who might not have been considering college to apply. But Missouri education officials said in July that the state would no longer pay.

The move came after Gov. Eric Greitens announced more than $250 million in spending reductions, including $4 million for assessment funding. Greitens blamed lagging state revenues and rising health care costs.