Funding changes would affect Texas County school districts under a proposal, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Houston board of education approved a new budget that calls for nearly no increases in spending and dips slightly into reserves to balance it.

The decision came Monday night during a special board meeting to adopt the spending document that is effective July 1.

Dr. Dan Vandiver, superintendent, said the 2011-’12 budget calls for $9.67 million in expenses with anticipated revenues of $9.64 million. The $36,000 shortfall will come from a reserve fund.

“We will continue to offer everything we have been offering in the way of core courses, vocational and fine arts classes and extra-curricular programs. The new budget provides for the essentials needed to educate our kids,” Vandiver said.

Missouri – which provides the lion’s share of revenue to the district – continues to whittle away at transportation funding, which impacts rural districts that bus students for some distance.

Eighteen percent of the budget – about $1.73 million – is provided by local property taxes. About $7.9 million comes from state and federal funding sources. About 78 percent ($7.5 million) of the budget goes to salaries and benefits for the 111 certified staff and 60 support personnel.

Vandiver also updated members on the district’s breakfast and lunch program for next year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funds and oversees the federal free and reduced lunch program, mandated an increase in school cafeteria pricing for next year.

Last year 57 percent of Houston’s students qualified for either free- or reduced-priced meals based on family income. The board increased the price of lunches by a dime and breakfast by a nickel to maintain the USDA subsidy for the district’s lunch and breakfast programs. Houston served more than 370,000 meals last year.


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