Nixon Divides $5 Million Among Missouri School Districts

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COLUMBIA - Governor Jay Nixon is taking $5 million of an unexpected windfall from the MegaMillions lottery and splitting it among all of Missouri's school districts for transportation. Columbia Public School District officials say every little bit helps, but when you do the math, the amount they'll receive will be nothing at all compared to their expenses.

Officials point out that Columbia Public Schools spent about $8 million last year on bus services. The state government slashed nearly $1.5 million of that money. Combine that with maintenance of 152 school buses and public school officials say it becomes clear that Gov. Nixon's proposal is more of a gift than a solution.

Commuity Relations Coordinator for Columbia Public Schools Michelle Bumstark, speaking of transportation funding said "We used to be receiving about 56% of that funding from the state. That has since gone down to about 16% of the funds we receive from the state."

She continued, "It's slowly just been whittled away with reductions. We are thankful at any opportunity the state has to restore funding for transportation. However, it's still simply is not enough to cover the full cost of what it takes to fund transportation in the school district."

Carole Garth, Assistant Principal of Rock Bridge Elementary, was in a similar vein of thought. She said, "I would agree with the generalization that it will... with the number of districts in this state it will hardly address the problems and costs for transportation but every little bit helps as well."

The Mega Millions money will be divided among 524 school districts.

To learn more about Mega Millions, click here.

Visit Gov. Nixon's website here.