Springfield Public Schools dealing with state budget cuts, planning for next year's budget

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As jobs have disappeared, and a lot less money is going to the government because of the coronavirus, the state of Missouri is cutting millions of dollars from its funding for public schools. So now, Springfield Public Schools will not get some of the money it was going to get.

"We are experiencing an unprecedented economic downturn which means we are having to make unprecedented adjustments to our budget," Gov. Mike Parson said Monday.

This week, Parson announced the impact of the coronavirus is leaving the state no choice but to withhold $123 million from Missouri public schools.

The state will withhold $2 million from Springfield Public Schools just for this month alone, nearing the end of the fiscal year. The school board is trying to predict how much more state funding it might miss out on later, as it has to make the next budget by July 1st. Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann said cuts will be necessary, but he said he does not want to make changes in the classroom.

Jungmann said the late-year cuts from the state are posing an economic challenge for Springfield Public Schools.

"The hard part of a June cut is the fact that you're 11 months into your budget. So that will come from a little bit of our reserve fund because there's not a whole lot of things that we can do to adjust our budget in the last 25 days," he said.

Jungmann said the district has saved some money because of the state's shutdown, offsetting some of the impact.

"We haven't had the same fuel bills for all of our buses," he said. "The supply budgets decreased during that time."

However, he said more cuts to state funding could be coming.

"The economy's not going to turn around overnight, likely. It's going to take a little bit of time to restart the engine," Jungmann said.

With next year's budget due by July 1st, more possible cuts create uncertainty.

"That means that we'll reduce some expenditures," he said. "We'll do that through supply budgets, travel budgets and some of the things that don't directly impact the classroom."

He said the district can make up the difference without laying off any teachers or support staff.

"Parents, kids, staff have already had a very disruptive spring and the last thing we want to do is make that more complex," Jungmann said.

Gov. Parson said he's hoping to make all the necessary budget cuts during the summer so districts have time to adjust before school starts in the fall.

The Springfield school board will start going over the new budget at its meeting next week.