Public school districts in Missouri will soon be expected to make do with 5.1 percent less in transportation funding in the wake of recent withholdings implemented by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Public school districts in Missouri will soon be expected to make do with 5.1 percent less in transportation funding in the wake of recent withholdings implemented by Gov. Jay Nixon.

According to Debra Clink, manager of student transportation for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Division of Financial and Administrative Services, school districts will begin seeing the reduced appropriation on Friday, Oct. 21.

“With the October state transportation aid calculation the lowered school transportation appropriation was utilized. It equates to about 5.1 percent of a reduction over last year’s state transportation aid,” said Clink in an e-mail response to an inquiry from the Courier-Post.

In terms of dollars and cents, the Hannibal public school district will see $8,856 less because of the withholding, reports Clink.

“It could impact the amount of fuel we have, the amount of routes that we can run,” said Rich Stilley, business manager of the Hannibal school district following the September Board of Education meeting, when the exact amount that would be lost was still unknown.

Elsewhere in Northeast Missouri the transportation withholdings will cost the Ralls County R-II School District $3,615, Palmyra $3,569 and Monroe City $3,531, according to Clink.

On Sept. 15, Nixon announced cuts totaling $57.2 million from the state budget. The cuts included $16.5 million for school transportation.

School transportation was not the only education-related funds withheld. Also cut was $6 million for the school foundation formula. Funding that schools receive through Prop C will be reduced by $1.9 million.

“The Prop C reduction will not have a huge impact (in Hannibal), but any amount is important,” said Susan Johnson, superintendent of the Hannibal school district, during the September school board meeting.

The withholdings came after the Missouri General Assembly overrode 13 pieces of legislation that had been vetoed by the governor. One of the bills, Senate Bill 641, which provides a tax refund for farmers who receive disaster assistance payments, has a price tag of $51.5 million.

Nixon noted that SB 641 was passed by the General Assembly in May after lawmakers had passed their budget and thus was not taken into account in the approved fiscal plan.

The $16.5 million cut is not the only hit school transportation funding has taken this year. In July the governor withheld a planned $5 million increase that had been designated for transportation because state revenues were not growing as fast as projected.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com