April 29, 2004

Berkowitz Pleased Education Money Has Been Released

Former State Representative Sam Berkowitz (D-Memphis) was pleased that circumstances have resulted in the Governor releasing the education money withheld from the Fiscal Year 04 budget. He says the money is not enough to erase the damage caused by last years cuts.

The money released will help school districts in my area who are still feeling the impact of last years reduction in funding resulting from Majority leaderships FY 04 budget, said Berkowitz.

Berkowitz was cautious about the most recent release of previously withheld money.

Unfortunately, neither the money released, nor the money allocated in the Houses budget proposal for the FY 05 budget will erase the damage caused by last years cuts. I will continue to oppose any FY 05 budget that inadequately protects the priorities of all Missourians, he added.

The FY 05 budget that was revealed to us last week and passed out of the House last Thursday includes nearly $1 billion more in spending than FY 04. Yet our public schools have seen no increase in funding over the last two years, noted Berkowitz.

Despite being the largest budget in state history, the budget still slashes funding for our colleges and universities and makes drastic cuts in health insurance for thousands of Missourians. While I applaud the news of money being released for education, there is little to celebrate. As I said many times, our states budget is once again inadequate because House Majority leadership is unwilling to work with members from both parties to craft a long-term solution to Missouris financial challenges.

According to figures released by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the following schools in the First District will receive previously withheld money in the following amounts:

* Schuyler Co. R-I, $86,153

* Gorin R-III, $13,997

* Scotland Co. R-I, $92,720

* Wyaconda C-I, $14,875

* Revere C-3, $14,570

* Luray 33, $13,059

* Clark Co. R-I, $119,616

* Marion Co. C-II, $42,523

* Knox Co. R-I, $96,364

* Canton R-V, $71,339

* Lewis Co. C-I, $142,376

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