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Thursday, May 5, 2016

OC school districts face revenue loss

Thursday, July 17, 2003

OREGON COUNTY -- Missouri Gov. Bob Holden vowed recently to seek revenue enhancements for education at the Legislature's annual veto session in September.

This comes after the governor's long and bitter standoff with the Republican-controlled Legislature over public education funding.

Last month Holden made public his projections based on the current budget he signed recently. This was after legislators in a special session refused to make changes, increase taxes or seek other ways to fund education.

According to Holden's projections, the four school districts in Oregon County will lose $637,836 for the fiscal year. A breakdown of the district shows how much each individual school in the county will lose in funding revenue: Couch R-1 -- $48,979; Thayer R-II -- $222,080; Oregon- Howell R-III (Koshkonong) -- $100,871; and Alton R-IV -- $265,906.

Thayer Superintendent Bill Garrison has estimated his district would lose between $158,000 and the governor's office projected $222,080. "What these cuts amount to is almost three teachers' salaries at our school and also the loss of repairs that will need to be made or just general maintenance. We are getting ready to build a new building and now we are going to have to count pennies even more. It is hard to balance the books," the superintendent said.

"Our school district depends upon the state for funding, and any ripple in state funding upsets our operation," Garrison said.

Many members of the Legislature insist the budget they passed is balanced; however, the governor says it is nearly $240 million short and he will be forced to withhold that amount from the budget. Of those withholdings, $190 million would come from public schools, $20 million from higher education and $30 million from state government.

Risco in New Madrid County, Strasburg in Cass County and Hudson in Bates County are the top three districts facing the deepest cuts, while the Clayton, Brentwood and Ladue districts, all in the St. Louis area, are the top three facing the least amount of cuts, according to Holden's projections.

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