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Missouri Set to Receive Millions From Feds For Education, 'Stabilization'

The U.S. House has passed a $26 billion jobs bill to protect 300,000 teachers and other nonfederal government workers from layoffs nationwide. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore reports on what this means for Missouri.

As kids get ready to stuff their backpacks with school supplies and head into to a new school year, their teachers and administrators might be getting some financial relief from the federal government.According to Missouri State Budget Director Linda Luebbering, Missouri is poised to receive $189 million dollars of that money for education, and $209 million for “health care resources.” As for how much of that money each school district will get, Luebbering says we simply don’t know yet.“The most important thing that we have to wait for is additional federal regulation and additional interpretation of the federal law from the US Department of Education. So at the moment, we’re really just on hold until we know a little bit more about that. And then at that point, we’ll be able to have more discussions here within in the state of Missouri," Luebbering said.

Those discussions, she said, will eventually take place between Missouri’s education leaders and legislators. The money will be distributed over the next year.Luebbering said the $209 million that should be coming to Missouri for “health care resources” will act as stabilization funds that will go to several of the state’s core services, including health and safety.The majority of Republicans in Congress voted against the bill, which now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. Republicans said Democrats were handing a favor to their teacher union allies and that Congress should end its spending spree.On the federal level, the bill is being paid for mainly by closing a tax loophole used by multinational corporations and reducing food stamp benefits.The Missouri National Education Association is calling it a “victory,” estimating it will save 3,100 education jobs in Missouri.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.