Area schools expecting tough financial times amid pandemic

Joplin Area Coronavirus

JOPLIN, Mo. — The 2020 Missouri economy had been shaping up to be a good year, with the state seeing seven percent growth.

But with the spread of covid-19, the governor says to expect tough times.

Dr. Alan Marble, MSSU President, said, “Income taxes are going to be down, sales tax will be down.”

And that won’t help finances at Missouri Southern, where they are supposed to get $23 million to support the 2020 budget.

“The light bill still you know is important to pay. The water bill is important to pay – we have insurance costs. Those things continue.”

It’s also wait and see for others in higher ed and K-12 education.

Carl Junction schools rely on the state for 42% of a $33 million budget.

Dr. Phil Cook, CJ R-1 Superintendent, said, “Public education is one of the big ticket items with our state so we expect we will take a part of that in cuts.”

District costs are slightly lower with only a few buses on the road delivering meals to students.

But they’re still paying staff and insurance and most other costs.

“As far as you know Carl Junction is concerned and me personally, uh I’ve been through three rounds of pretty significant reductions in the school district in the time I’ve been in the central office so it may be number four.”

And just one school district over, Joplin leaders have put budgeting for next year on hold while they wait to see what the next few weeks bring for their $90 million operating budget.

Dr. Ron Lankford, Joplin, said, “It’s a very challenging time and I just wish those folks having to make these very hard decisions the very best in dealing with a situation that no one anticipated even 30 days ago.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories