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Columbia school board addresses budget issues

Columbia Public Schools will soon have more money to work with after some budget moves by both the state legislature and Governor Nixon.

Schools across the state can expect a boost in their budgets, but CPS still has some problems to figure out.

The state’s budget signed last week includes $1.8 million for CPS, an important development since the district finds itself in what financial director Linda Quinley calls a difficult situation.

Right now, the district is spending almost $5 million more than it takes in.

Quinley and the school board are looking for ways to reduce that deficit.

She calls the district’s growth unprecedented as they await the opening of three new schools in the next two years.

To avoid spending the money in reserves, which it’s doing now, Quinley said they’d start considering cuts at the end of the 2018 school year.

The $1.8 million the district will receive from the state will put off any program cuts until the next year.

Monday night, the school board will also discuss the negotiations between the district and teachers’ groups.

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