All Callaway public schools to receive less state aid

Fulton’s state aid cut by $179,398

All Callaway County school district administrators have learned they may receive less state foundation aid during the 2013 school year.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education waited until after the Missouri General Assembly had adjourned and then calculated state aid for each district and informed them of its revisions of aid estimates on Wednesday.

The Fulton School District is expected to receive an estimated $179,398 less in state aid than the current year ending June 30. This year it received $7,233,867 in state aid and next year the state estimates it will receive $7,054,469.

Fulton Superintendent Jacque Cowherd said Friday he was disappointed with the reduction in state aid.

“The $179,398 reduction in state aid is based on November of 2011 estimates from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,” Cowherd said.

Cowherd said unspent federal stimulus money received earlier will be used to cushion the blow from the reduction in state aid. He predicted no staff reductions would be needed because the staff is already operating at minimum levels after earlier cuts.

Cowherd said some other school districts spent the federal stimulus money on pay raises for school employees last year but Fulton decided to save the money because it feared potential reductions in state and federal aid this year.

The New Bloomfield R-3 School District is estimated to receive $33,308 less in state aid next year than it received during the current year. This year it received $2,669,907 and next year it is estimated to receive $2,636,599.

New Bloomfield Superintendent David Tramel said the district will be able to handle the change with few problems. Because it is an election year, Tramel said he isn’t sure all of the estimated state aid money will be forthcoming. He said after the election in November the district then will have a better idea of whether the state’s estimates of aid turn out to be correct.

The North Callaway R-1 School District is estimated to receive $51,615 less in state aid next year than the current year. This year it received $4,434,170 and next year it is estimated to receive $4,382,555.

North Callaway Superintendent Bryan Thomsen was unavailable for comment Friday.

The South Callaway R-2 School District is estimated to receive $15,111 less in state aid next year than the current year. This year it received $609,328 and next year it is estimated to receive $594,217.

North Callaway Superintendent Mary Lynn Battles was unavailable for comment Friday,

Under the state aid foundation formula, some districts receive larger amounts and percentages of state aid than others. For example, when local tax money is added to each school’s total budget, South Callaway has a total budget of $9.5 million compared to a total budget of $6.1 million for New Bloomfield.

Even though its total budget is smaller, New Bloomfield this year received about $2 million more in state aid than South Callaway. New Bloomfield received $2,669,907 in state school aid this year, compared to $609,328 in state school aid at South Callaway.

Under the state’s latest estimates, about two-thirds of the state’s school districts will receive less money next year than this year. That same percentage holds true for districts in Central Missouri.

Mid-Missouri districts receiving more state aid next year include Jefferson City with $504,153 more and Columbia with $354,095 less.

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