New Bloomfield schools lose $50,000 in aid

The New Bloomfield School District will lose about $50,000 as its share of the $400 million that Gov. Jay Nixon cut from education funding.

Superintendent David Tramel told the school board Thursday night that Nixon has frozen state aid to schools under the state’s school aid foundation program.

“Right now we will have in round numbers about $50,000 less in state aid coming,” Tramel said.

The governor said he took the action to await the outcome of a planned effort by legislators this September to override his veto of the tax cut legislation.

Nixon has contended the state would lose at least $400 million in revenue if the tax cut is approved over his veto.

Legislators believe the tax cut is designed to make Missouri businesses more competitive and boost employment statewide.

Tramel said he is for long-term job growth but he is most concerned about the short-term loss in state aid, which he estimated at about $50,000.

The superintendents of the four Callaway County public school districts, Tramel said, have agreed to lobby Missouri legislators and ask them to vote against the tax cut legislation and to sustain Nixon’s veto.

As part of their effort, the Callaway County superintendents have agreed to come up with an exact figure that they believe they will lose in state aid if the veto is overridden.

“I don’t think the veto will be overridden,” Tramel said.

The New Bloomfield district’s savings account fund balance for financial emergencies is equal to 23 percent of next year’s annual school district budget.

He said smaller school districts like New Bloomfield need a high percentage of their annual budget to be set aside for emergency spending. “A boiler costs the same for a small district as it does for a large district,” he said.

Small districts, he said, typically are more dependent on state aid than large school districts because they receive a higher percentage of their budget through state aid rather than through local tax support.

Tramel said putting more money in reserve should not preclude needed salary increases for teachers and technological improvements in the district.

“What we have now with our fund balance is what I believe is adequate fiscal insurance. It allows us not to be as fiscally conservative as we have had to be during the last two years,” Tramel said.

“This year’s budget reflects that. We have a $130,000 surplus from the previous year that was not spent as budgeted,” Tramel said. He said the new budget has higher planned spending than in previous years.

In other action, the board was told the high school food service has a surplus that can be used to improve food choices for the next school year.

OPAH food service, which provides food service to the district under a contract, plans to hire another cook. The district plans to buy a new oven and offer a rotating food bar option for high school students that would, for example, offer such rotating daily items as pizza, a baked potato bar, or a hamburger bar.

The aim is to tempt people who bring their lunch to buy one of the food options offered. The food bar also would offer another option for all high school students.

The board also agreed the district’s public hearing to set the district’s annual tax rate levy should be at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 15. That time is one-half hour before the board’s regular monthly meeting on the third Thursday of the month.

The board voted to keep the same $7,616 per year tuition rate for each student living in another school district whose parents want to transfer the youngster to the New Bloomfield R-3 School District.

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