Springfield, MO

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MO to invest $1.5M in Joplin schools

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Gov. Jay Nixon announced yesterday said the state would invest up to $1.5 million to aid the Joplin R-VIII School District during the upcoming academic school year.

Superintendent C.J. Huff said during a Joplin Board of Education meeting yesterday that the damage caused by the May 22 EF-5 tornado reduced the school district's property tax base. Joplin school officials are predicting a drop in property tax revenues during the year to the tune of roughly $790,000 in Jasper County residential property taxes, based on projections from the Jasper and Newton County assessors. The district would have needed to raise tax levels to make up the shortfall, but the financial commitment from the state keeps that from happening, according to a news release from the governor's office.

“Ensuring that Joplin students have access to a quality education is a critical priority, but raising taxes on Joplin residents and businesses would hurt this recovery and simply isn’t an option,” Nixon said in the release. “Making this critical investment provides schools and teachers the resources they need, and holds the line on taxes for the people of Joplin."

The Joplin R-VIII School District 2011-12 school year is scheduled to begin Aug. 17, despite extensive losses suffered from the tornado. Some students will be placed in temporary schools as the district rebuilds, according to its Web site.

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