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West County looks at state budget cuts

LEADWOOD – State budget cuts in education were heavy on the mind of West County R-4 Superintendent Stacy Stevens as he addressed board members at their regular monthly meeting last week.

Stevens reported to the board about large cuts Gov. Jay Nixon made earlier this month in state education. The cuts included $8 million slashed in state busing aid to public school districts. State Budget Director Linda Luebbering said at the time that the cut was needed because Missouri Lottery proceeds for education weren’t likely to meet budget expectations. Last session, lawmakers had restored $10 million for busing, so Nixon’s cut left districts with just $2 million in additional funding. Other education cuts included $2.05 million from the Parents As Teachers program and $300,000 from math and science tutoring.

Stevens said that, while Nixon’s cuts were not unexpected, they were sure to put a crunch on school districts throughout the state — including theirs. The board approved a final 2010-11 budget amendment using actual and also approved a tentative 2011-12 budget using the final figures from the previous budget.

“Once our new hires and more definite expenses for next year come available in September, we’ll approve a more accurate budget,” said Stevens.

In other action by the board:

• A transportation and food service transfer to the district’s Capital Projects Fund was approved.

• A 7 percent Fund 4 transfer was approved.

• 2011-12 classified and certificated staff salaries were approved.

• Janet Lane was approved as coordinator for the district’s Homeless/Migrant/ESL/ELL/Title IX/Home School and 504 programs.

• It was learned that elementary school nurse Stephanie Warden will be working with district coaches this summer on CPR training, with additional training in assisting students with asthma.

• District custodians are preparing district school buildings for the fall.

• Attendance at the district’s summer school program was reported to be up slightly from last year’s.

Kevin R. Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

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