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Missouri schools talk impact of statewide budget cuts

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Missouri school superintendents are talking about how the COVID-19 related budget cuts across the state could effect schools.

At Lewis County C-1 schools, superintendent John French said one of the larger things that will be effected by the cuts will be transportation, but he says many smaller things will also be effected.

"Out of the $47.2 million withholding, $23.6 [million] of that will be attributed to K-12 education," said French.

He said just over $7 million of that will be taken from transportation funding, meaning potentially $10 thousand less for his district.

For French, he said it comes as no surprise as transportation is often one of the first things to be slashed.

"State is currently or was currently funding transportation with a re-reimbursement rate of a little over 15%, the state statutes call for 75% re-reimbursement," said French, "so if you take 7% away we're in the 8-9% reimbursement rate."

He said while they've been running buses less often due to not bringing kids into school, there has been additional wear and tear on buses which can't be paid for by transportation funds.

"There's still an added cost with running the buses and making the meal deliveries," said French.

He said the largest portion of these cuts is over $15 million set aside for a correction for financial year 2020.

"It will mean that we receive less money but the student adequacy target and the foundation formula should remain the same," said French.

"There's some additional smaller amounts," said French, adding that some of those smaller amounts include things like funding for assessments and reports on student performance.

Now, he said they're waiting for more information from the department of elementary and secondary education.

"That may be in regards to that fact that maybe those assessments aren't being done now that schools are shut down," said French.

Some of the other agencies effected by the $47 million dollar budget cut include the attorney general's office and the general assembly.

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Missouri governor announces $47 Million in additional expenditure restrictions

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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