SJSD Board continues focus on long-range planning

After adjusting the budget earlier this month, the St. Joseph School District (SJSD) was notified that it may be losing too much money to surrounding districts.The board has voted to approve the use of "claim care" a company that will help the district find any money that should not be paid out or should be coming in from other districts for school tuition.

Posted: Oct 22, 2018 10:39 PM
Updated: Oct 23, 2018 8:33 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) After adjusting the budget earlier this month, the St. Joseph School District (SJSD) was notified that it may be losing too much money to surrounding districts. The board has voted to approve the use of "Claim Care" a company that will help the district find any money that should not be paid out or should be coming in from other districts for school tuition.

"We will utilize 'Claim Care' to come in and go through the process and sniff things out and see what kind of dollars and cents are out there, if there is a lot of dollars and cents that are out there may it is something that we can do for the future," said SJSD Director of Finance. 

The District can lose money if students are not accurately accounted for. This can happen if students live in other districts but attend St. Joseph schools without their home district paying for it. It can also happen if students who used to attend other districts return to the St. Joseph district while SJSD continues to pay out tuition monies.

Claim Care helps to track the movement of students and the proper allocation of funds that belong to the district. The district has a two-year contract with the company. Their services will not cost SJSD ot taxpayers any additional money. The company takes 33% of the recovered funds they find for the district. 

The Board has also started the search for a long-range planning firm and for a company who can conduct a demographic study for St. Joseph. 

The school board says they have finished walk-throughs for high schools and they will finish walk-throughs for middle and elementry schools by the end of next week. The new firm will help the board figure out how to deal with the aging structures in the district.
The demographic study will also play a major roll in long-term plannnig for buildings in the district.

"The demographic study is really a part of the long range planning process without having a good idea of what the make-up of the community is, where people are moving to, or where people are moving from. The potential for growth or the loss of population over the years has a big impact on where you may place schools or where you may open or close schools," said SJSD Superintendent Dr. Doug Van Zyl. 

Companies within St. Joseph may share the cost of the demographic study due to the usefulness of the data for area businesses. 

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