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Parson announces $209 million more in budget 'restrictions'

Education departments take largest hits
parson june 1 press conference
Posted at 3:42 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 16:42:46-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced further budget cuts as a result of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state at a Monday press conference.

Parson said an additional $209 million will be cut by the end of June.

The cuts, which Parson dubbed “restrictions,” will affect the Office of Administration, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The cuts hit the state’s education department particularly hard.

DESE will lose more than $131 million, including $123 million from the Foundation Formula.

The higher education department will lose $41 million in the latest round of cuts.

Parson said the state is waiving the “hold harmless statute,” which means all local education institutions, including charter schools, will be subject to the budget shortfall.

The state will use $187 million in federal funds to help “a majority of school districts.”

State education officials weren’t immediately able to say how the cuts would affect schools.

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi issued a statement following the announcement Monday afternoon.

“We understand that the state of Missouri continues to experience a very challenging financial situation and that our elected officials are doing everything they can during this time,” Choi said in the written statement. “I’m extremely grateful to our leadership team, financial experts and committed staff and faculty. Working together, we have taken significant actions for the past few months that will mitigate the impact of this latest announcement. We remain focused on having in-person operations in the Fall and keeping the University of Missouri the strong, public institution that Missourians rely on to educate the future leaders of our state and nation.”

The $209 million being withheld is in addition to $220 million in cuts already made in Missouri, Parson said.

Parson noted the state had conserved $100 million last year to respond to “unanticipated revenue declines” but COVID-19 presented significant impacts “truly unlike anything we have ever experienced.”

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