Missouri budget includes more money for K-12 education; impact on Joplin Schools

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JOPLIN, Mo. —

The state of Missouri plans to spend $29 billion in its 2020 budget. And that total includes more money for k through 12 education.

$3.5 billion will go for public education kindergarten through high school. Statewide that’s an increase of about $60 million.

Local school districts will use the increase for a number of projects. And that includes more money to pay for busing kids to and from school. Even with an increase this year, the state only covers a fraction of the cost. In the Joplin School District alone, it’s about 28 percent.

“The intent of the state transportation formula is to fund 75 percent and so again, that gives you an idea it would take a pretty good appropriation to cover that.”

Dr. Ron Lankford, Joplin School District

The funding increase for Joplin Schools alone is about half a million dollars. That extra cash will help pay for pay raises for teachers and other employees, the higher cost of insurance, and to help pay off bonds taken out during the recovery from the 2011 tornado. The 2020 budget for the Joplin School District comes in at $98 million.

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