Looking Over All the Options

State officials cut the education budget by 15 percent because of COVID and annual budget cuts that have been postponed until now

Looking Over All the Options

by Alija Ernst, Content Manager

The state of Missouri released budget cuts for the year, and education was #1 on that list. For too long, State officials have pushed the cutting of the education budget. However, not everything can be pushed to the side, especially an enormous elephant in the room. So, after many, many years of procrastinating the cut, Missouri officials had to make the call. The education budget will be cut by $209 million by the end of the fiscal year from school districts around the state. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, Governor Mike Parson  said, “These were extremely difficult decisions I never thought I would have to make in just a few months.” 

Furthermore, not only does this affect teachers and staff, but it also affects the students. Dr. Charles Brazeale, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Technology,  expressed this by saying that it is terrible that the state had to cut the education budget, however it is understandable.

“It definitely affects us because we only get 16 percent of funding from the state, and it does have a negative impact for the district,” said Brazeale. “But it is understandable because the state is collecting less money because of the pandemic, however the downside is they really don’t have a choice if they want to cut funding or not. They have to balance the budget by doing something, otherwise the state will go into heavy debt.” 

However, with the very little that the state supplies our school district, we do have other methods of receiving funding. According to Dr. Brazeale, our school district alone recieves 76 percent of our funding from local taxes and local businesses, 16 percent of our funding comes from the state, and 6 percent of our funding comes from the federal government.  

No matter where you cut, it will hurt and affect someone and something differently.

— Principal Jeff Walker

“In our district about 76 percent of our funding comes from local, which is purchases people have made in the state and local property tax,” said Dr. Brazeale. “Which is a good thing right now because that has been a somewhat stable source of funding for our school district that we are lucky enough to have because our community is very supportive of our school district.” 

To illustrate the point of the state education budget Principal Jeff Walker, said that no matter where the budget was cut, it was going to affect some part of our lives. He then went on to talk about how he had to cut the departments in our school.

“No matter where you cut, it will hurt and affect someone and something differently. If I am going to have to cut budgets for the classes, then I am going to cut every class and try to cut it equally from all the departments,” Walker said. 

With these education cuts, Judith Simmons, new Department Chair of Technology and Business/Marketing, said that her department had about 17 percent cut from their budget. However about 83 percent of the budget is still available to them. This means that it  didn’t  affect our school as much as it could have, all because of the local income that has come in through St. Charles property taxes and tourism taxes. So that may have been our saving grace in a time of a global crisis.