Billions of dollars going to school districts to offset the financial impact from COVID-19

Joplin Area Coronavirus

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Billions of dollars in federal funding will go to school districts around the country, hoping to offset some of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tony Rossetti, WC R-7 Supt.: “With the number of kids coming up – we would have to start serving lunch at 10:00 and end at 2:00.”

Dr. Tony Rossetti, Webb City Superintendent

Webb City Superintendent Dr. Tony Rossetti is planning to avoid issues with an over-sized junior high class by expanding the cafeteria.

“The lunch periods won’t be crammed, you know it’s a tight space. You know you get junior high kids in a tight space, you want to give them some space.”

Dr. Tony Rossetti, Webb City Superintendent

But Webb City is keeping a close eye on money issues in the future. Webb City is expecting about $560,000 in CARES funding from the federal government to help ease the pinch from the COVID-19 pandemic. But they don’t know what comes next with the economy.

“Looking forward into the future is like trying to guess in a crystal ball,” says Dr. Rossetti.

There’s a lot more money coming in to Four States schools. Miami and Carl Junction each expect a little more than half a million dollars. Pittsburg schools estimate tops $700,000 while Neosho’s is closer to $900,000. And in Joplin, school leaders are looking at $2.1 million dollars.

The money could be helpful in paying for personnel costs now or potential shortfalls for Joplin down the road.

“I am one that believes we cannot count this as extra funds, hopefully it will help replace maybe what the state will not be able to do this year or next year.”

Ron Lankford, Joplin R-8 Assistant Superintendent

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