Deputy Commissioner Ron Lankford with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says the state revenue is increasing, but is still about $1 billion short of where its budget needs to be, and has been that way in past years; compared to before the economic crisis.
He says since 2008, Missouri has been seeing a gradual increase in its revenue, but Lankford says that’s not enough. “What we really want to establish is that there is no intent in this particular presentation, and to be critical of the Missouri General Assembly,” he said. “Nor is there any intent to be critical of the realities of what has happened at the federal government level.”
Lankford says the budget that’s available is the limitation of what can be dispersed on a state level and says the department can’t deficit spend in Missouri. “I really am glad that I’m not the one that has to navigate and work through what they have had to work through in the Capitol building as far as those who put together the budget and those who have to cast the vote for the budget,” he said.
The Department says the shortfall for fiscal year 2014 is at $1.4 million and another $400,000 for fiscal year 2015. The total shortfall in the next two years is estimated at $1.9 million.
He says in the last 18 months, the department has been trying to get a better handle on moving forward with federal streams of revenue that impact the department of education.
AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports. (1:04)