Joplin Schools sending applications for CARES funding

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Joplin School District is in the process of submitting reimbursement requests for CARES Act funding.

The Joplin School District has already submitted one request for reimbursement, which included sanitization and cleaning, as well as preparations for summer school and the current school year. Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations Dr. Ron Lankford says “We submitted a second one which is more keyed toward those social distancing things, classroom furniture and things so we can spread kids out in the classroom.”

Dr. Ron Lankford says the district has already ordered all of the items they’re seeking reimbursement for and right now, they’re prepared to pay for them, if for any reason some, or potentially all of their request is denied. “But if we continue to see reductions in state funding then all of a sudden we’ll have to make corresponding adjustments, so the reimbursements that we might get through this, that will help us keep our fund balances to deal with other needs that are yet unknown.”

Dr. Lankford provided a copy of some of the items they’ve requested reimbursement for, with one of the top expenses being hand sanitizer. “If you look at that a lot of it is air handling, spray devices for buildings and for buses, that’s the significant, major expenditures that we have.”

Dr. Lankford says there’s a third application that is in the works and includes food service items. “They’re eating lunch in the classrooms, so what they’re having to do is prepare food and then deliver it to classrooms, so to keep it cold if it needs to be cold, or hot if it needs to be hot, there are quite a bit, there’s quite a bit of expense in equipment just to enable us to prepare the food and deliver it to the classrooms or to a location because they’re not going to that normal cafeteria right now.”

Dr. Lankford says in total, including the third application, the approximate reimbursement request is for $300,000.

Lankford says even though the district is technically in Jasper and Newton Counties, because the district’s headquarters is in Jasper County, they can only submit reimbursement requests to Jasper County.