SJSD board talks budgets during Zoom meeting

Board members say they are concerned about possible cuts in state funding and the ability of people to pay property taxes due to the coronavirus economic shutdown.

Posted: Apr 27, 2020 11:09 PM
Updated: Apr 28, 2020 9:39 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)  -- Board members with the St. Joseph School District had their regular meeting on Monday via Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Board president Seth Wright said due to possible funding issues, both at the state and local levels, there could be some serious issues ahead when trying to plan for spending, especially on capital projects.

"What are we looking like if people can't pay their property taxes, which is half of our revenue?" Wright asked the board.  "I divided up our 'have to haves,' the 'needs,' and the 'wants.' We aren't going to get any of our wants. We aren't going to get some of the needs right now, especially in the next year or so."

The State of Missouri is looking at up to a $700 million shortfall in the coming year. Local administrators are expecting some cuts to K-12 education coming, especially in 2022 and 2023. They also said they will have to watch enrollment numbers.

Superintendent Doug Van Zyl said the coronavirus shutdown has made administrators more aware of the need for technology updates in the district. He said he's become aware of how many students do not have the needed laptops or tablets to use for learning.

Online learning will continue through May 15th.

Van Zyl said that during the time the school buildings have been closed the district has still continued to supply meals for students. He said that they have provided more than 90,000 meals since the schools closed in March.

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A cold front is currently moving through our area this morning dropping temperatures into the lower 40s and upper 30s. Today will be a cool day with highs in the upper 40s and lower 50s with increasing clouds. Temperatures will fall into the lower 30s tonight. We could see a few areas of light rain and drizzle this evening, but precipitation chances will start to increase overnight into tomorrow morning. With the sub freezing temperatures, precipitation will transition from light rain and drizzle in the evening to snow overnight into Tuesday morning. Snowfall will continue through the morning hours on Tuesday before transitioning to a rain/snow mix while it exits the area. Most areas will see around 1-3 inches. Accumulations will stay mainly on grassy and elevated surfaces, but expect slushy road conditions Tuesday morning. Conditions will slowly start to improve for the rest of the work week with sunshine returning and temperatures slowly warming. Rain chances will return for the end of the work week.
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