DESE discusses potential economic impact of COVID-19

On March 27, Deputy Commissioner, Finance and Administrative Services Roger Dorson sent a memo to school districts regarding attendance reporting, calendar and PDC spending.  One section of the memo spoke to possible repercussions for school districts due to the economic impact of COVID-19.   

The memo stated, At this time there have been no announcements regarding withholds for FY 2019-20. The economic impact of COVID-19 is expected to affect Proposition C revenue, which appears unlikely to reach appropriated levels. LEAs are urged to revise budget estimates accordingly, while closely monitoring the Proposition C receipts for the remainder of the year. It is impossible to predict the potential impact COVID-19 will have on our state’s revenues. Districts and charter schools should exercise extreme caution as they move forward in their budgeting process for FY 2020-21. It is impossible to know the full impact COVID-19 could have on the ability to reach the State Adequacy Target in the Foundation Formula payment. LEAs should be conservative in any estimates for Foundation Formula, Classroom Trust Fund, Transportation, Small Schools and Proposition C payments in the coming year.” 

 On April 1, Gov. Mike Parson announced $175 million in budget restrictions for the current year.  The bulk of the restrictions are from higher education, four-year higher education institutions $61.3 million and $11.6 million from community colleges. The other large withhold came from the facilities maintenance reserve fund $54.2 million.  There are currently no restrictions on pk-12 school funding, although the governor stated that he may need to make restrictions up to $500 million.  These decisions will depend on how long the economy is impacted by COVID-19 and any financial support that comes from the federal government.  MSTA staff will continue to advocate for public education with the legislature and DESE and provide members with timely and accurate information.   

Legislators returning to the Capitol 

The Missouri General Assembly will meet to pass the FY2020 supplemental budget next week.  Legislative leaders are working on plans to screen both legislators and any members of the general public that enter the Capitol building.  

The Senate will hold hearings on the supplemental budget bill, then bring it to the full Senate for approval.  With updated data and increased money from the federal government, the Senate will need to modify the bill.  Once the Senate approves the bill, the House will be required to take it up and pass the new version. 

Both the House and Senate are working on modifications to their normal voting to ensure they can practice social distancing as much as possible. 

House and Senate leadership have not yet released a further plan to pass the FY2021 budget or handle other legislative matters that are still pending this session.  The budget for the fiscal year beginning on July 1 must be passed by May 8.  The last day of session this year is Friday, May 15. 

PSRS/PEERS election

MSTA, the Missouri Association of School Administrators, Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers AssociationMissouri Association for Career and Technical Education and the Missouri NEA recommend two candidates in the upcoming election for the Public School Retirement System of Missouri Board of Trustees.  Below you will find their biographical information that will accompany ballots that will be sent out to all PSRS/PEERS members on April 23 

 This is an important election to ensure that teachers and women maintain their voices on the board to protect your retirement.  Please encourage all staff in your district and around the state to vote when ballots are mailed on April 23.  Members may vote by returning their ballots by mail, or using the enclosed information to vote via phone or online.   

Dr. Melinda Moss   

Missouri is blessed to have a strong retirement system, an asset in attracting and retaining quality educators. We must have board members who can effectively preserve as well as articulate the benefits that PSRS/PEERS provides to its members and toward the health of the state. 


We are facing a difficult time in our history. Prior to working in education, I worked for Edward D. Jones during the Black Monday of 1987, holding investors’ hands as the market crash in Hong Kong spread to Europe and then the United States. I later entered education and during the great recession of 2007-2009, I worked many hours as a school superintendent to assure our community that education employees and our local school would get through the volatile housing market and downturn of local assessed valuations. 

Throughout my journey in education, first as a special education teacher, counselor, principal and now as superintendent at Joplin Public School, I have understood that leadership decisions must encompass all stakeholders. Quality decisions are made when there are clear and open lines of communications. It’s always been my goal to listen, evaluate and consider, and then make decisions with as much information from as many parties as possible. That is the philosophy I will use as a trustee to maintain the financial strength of PSRS and PEERS. 

I am ready to lead all members of the system, and I believe it’s especially important to have female leadership on the board. I’m proud to be endorsed by the Missouri Association of School Administrators, Missouri State Teachers Association, Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, and the Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education as well as a recommended candidate by the Missouri NEA. 

humbly offer my experience and background to make the best decisions possible to ensure a quality retirement for all education professionals for the long term. 

Darren Farmer 

I believe in public education, and I believe Missouri’s PSRS/PEERS retirement system is a vital resource to our state. It is our responsibility to ensure that the decisions the Board of Trustees makes are sound for all members of the system. As a classroom teacher, I believe that all education professionals must have a voice in education, including in our retirement.  

I have been in education for 22 years as an agriculture education teacher, and earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture education. I serve on the MSTA Legislative IMPACT Committee that works to recruit, elect and retain legislators that support public education. Outside of the classroom, I have held leadership positions in the Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association at the area, district and state levels. I have been proud to lead at the local level and in the community of educators we have in the state. It’s an honor to be endorsed by the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Missouri Association of School Administrators, Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, and the Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education as well as a recommended candidate by the Missouri NEA. 

The opportunity to lead as a teacher is what interested me in serving as a PSRS/PEERS trustee. I have attended and followed PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees meetings and understand how vital it is that the retirement system works well for all members, from future and current teachers, to retirees. I know the importance of protecting our retirement from economic as well as political issues, especially during uncertain times that have recently hit our economy.  

 I would appreciate your vote; it would be an honor to serve you on the Board of Trustees. I believe that because of the strong involvement and advocacy of Missouri’s current and retired educators, the PSRS/PEERS retirement system will remain strong for generations to come.