Members of the board of education will meet at month's end to finalize a budget for the next year. The matter is complicating by withholding of funds on the state level. 

An economic downturn in Missouri will translate into less money coming into school coffers in the county as the result of withholdings announced by Gov. Mike Parson.

Dr. Allen Moss, superintendent, said he hopes to have a better picture soon on how the state shortfall will affect the district’s financial situation. Earlier projections show that Houston’s initial hit might be $200,000 to $250,000 as it prepares to close out the budget year on June 30. A similar round might be experienced into the new year. Statewide, Parson restricted about $131 million from funds targeted for kindergarten through high school to balance the books.

Houston’s budget process allows for some financial leeway for unexpected financial hits, but the board also will look to perhaps make up some of the lost funds through not filling some slots where employees planned to leave the district. It continues to study the issue.

Moss led a discussion at last week’s school board meeting about finances as members formulate next year’s budget.  

Members:

•Heard that meal prices will remain unchanged for the upcoming school year. Adult lunch is $2.43 and adult breakfast is $1.50. School lunch is $2 and student breakfast is $1.45.

•Approved accepting Chilton Oil Co. of Houston as the propane supplier.

•Accepted a bid for paper from Contract Paper Co. for the 2020-’21 school year.

•Approved an exterminating bid from Ozark Termite and Pest Control for the upcoming school year.

School

•OK’d Hiland Dairy to provide dairy products for the 2020-’21 school year.

•Accepted a bread bid as submitted by Bimbo Bakeries for the 2020-’21 school year.

•Were presented by building principals with possible changes to student handbooks. Action will come at the board’s next meeting.

•Will seek bids under a single contract for roofs damaged by a March 27 hail storm. Proposals will be accepted at the district office until 1 p.m. July 15.

In closed session, the board:

•Heard from a grandparent about the alternative school.

•Hired Melanie Forman as freshmen/C team volleyball coach for the 2020-’21 season.

The board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, at the high school media center to finalize the budget. The next regular meeting is 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 14.

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