School spending

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Trying to make ends meet following a recession is proving to be quite a challenge for local and state governments as well as the federal government. Unlike Washington, most local and state governments don't have the option of deficit spending. And as state and federal funding cuts are made, local entities are having a tougher time with their budgets.

The Cape Girardeau School Board recently adopted its budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. The scaled-back $41 million operating budget is balanced, as requested by the board after the district dipped into reserves in the previous fiscal year. The impact of the budgeting process will be felt throughout the district as salary freezes, fewer positions and other cutbacks take effect.

In addition to being balanced, the school district's budget maintains reserves of about 12 percent, as requested by the board.

The prudent steps taken by the Cape Girardeau board are an example of how local governments across Missouri are facing up to the reality of maintaining a pay-as-you-go system while working hard to maintain a high level of services. After all, the school board's first duty is to provide a high-quality education for students.

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