St. Louis Public Radio News
5:51 pm
Tue March 9, 2010

Mo. officials want more money from Washington

St. Louis, Mo. – Missouri officials continue pressing for more financial aid from Washington, as Congress considers whether or not to extend budget stabilization funds for state governments.

School Board Association Executive Director Mike Reid suggests that without help from Washington, Missouri schools will have to reduce staff and increase class sizes.

"Putting more people, more kids, more students in a classroom, a lot of times is not conducive for education...if we're going to work our way out of some of the holes that we're in, (a) proper education is one of the ways to do it," Reid said.

Reid took part in a telephone news conference today, along with State Senator Joan Bray (D, St. Louis) and Kathy Nicholson, a state trainer with the Parents As Teachers program.

Bray said that Missouri's economy is not improving, and that it will likely take years, not months, to turn around.

Linda Luebbering is Budget Director for Governor Jay Nixon.

"Will the federal government provide more money? We don't know, there's obviously a chance of that...but right now our focus is on the fact that our own general revenue collections are doing very poorly," Luebbering said.

The proposed budget laid out by Governor Nixon in January relies on $300 million in federal stabilization funds. But with uncertainty growing over whether those funds will be available, the governor is expected to soon announce more cuts to various areas of state government.