“These withholdings are taking away funds that we have already budgeted for,” said Dr. Trish Wilson, the Associate Superintendent of Finance.
For the second time in the same fiscal year, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has cut transportation funding from Missouri schools, forcing districts like Neosho to fall far short of the amount of money they thought they would get for the rest of the year.
“We could look at anywhere from $30,000 to $38,000 in cuts in just transportation, Obviously we have to get our kids to school, and we will continue to focus on that, but there may be some things that we have to cut where we can,” Dr. Wilson explained.
Nixon says the latest cuts were in response to tax breaks the General Assembly enacted during the recent veto session. He says they had to be made in order to balance the state’s budget, leaving Joplin and every other school district in the state cutting back.
“We anticipate a loss of approximately $4,000 a month, so a another $50,000 or so that we may lose for with the newest budget cuts from the Governor,” said Director of Transportation David Pettit.
Pettit says due to the cuts, it will be a while before the district is able to start buying new school buses again.
The only hope for districts now is for legislators to reach an agreement to restore the cuts during the upcoming Legislative session. That session begins in January in Jefferson City.