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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Nixon Restricts $1 Million From OTC, $115 Million Total From Many State Programs


Ozarks Technical Community College is one of dozens of organizations having money withheld following a decision Wednesday by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The $1 million withhold for OTC’s Republic campus is part of over $115 million Nixon has restricted from new and expanding programs in order to balance the Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

“We’re disappointed that the money is being withheld but we are hopeful that the governor will release the funds when the state’s revenue improves,” said Mark Miller, OTC spokesman.

But Miller says plans for the center in Republic are continuing and that officials are still working out the details.

The campus in Republic is to serve the students who are unable to drive to the OTC’s Springfield location or Richwood Valley campus in Nixa.

“Now they will just have another option to take classes and to get the education they need whether or not they want to enter the work force or if they want to go on to a four year university or college.”

The Cox Family Foundation donated the 7.6 acre property in Republic to OTC earlier this year. The land is worth at least $1 million. OTC applied for and was granted $1 million in state matching funds for the project.

The money is to be used for site development such as roads and parking lots for the proposed education center.

OTC, along with Greenwood Laboratory School on the MSU campus, Joplin’s Autism Center, and other local entities had money withheld by the governor today. In total, 131 programs are affected.

Nixon said that further budget restrictions might be necessary if the Legislature overrides his vetoes of three tax breaks during its September session. According to Nixon, the breaks would reduce state revenues by more than $60 million a year.