A look at St. Joseph School District’s allocation of $39.31 Million

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A finance committee met Monday to review the books of the St. Joseph School District, including how the administration spends millions in federal emergency funds.

The Primary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds, or ESSER funds, have helped school districts across the country stay afloat during the pandemic. St. Joseph Public Schools are no different.

The item was put on the agenda after Kenneth Reeder, a member of the board of education and finance committee, requested detailed accounts of the district’s ESSER funds at a previous board meeting. Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations, Dr. Gabe Edgar, said he would be happy to help provide the information to the public in hopes it would help dispel myths and misinformation about how the district spends its federal relief funds.

“I think it will help us be honest with you so people don’t ask those questions or say things that aren’t true about what you’re spending it on,” Edgar said.

This is what Edgar and his staff saydedicated to the committeeth Monday:

ESSER I (Emergency Fund for Primary and Secondary Schools)
WHEN: Spring 2020

AMOUNT: $2.7 million

USAGE: More than half was spent on teacher salaries and tutoring. The district also spent about $64,000 on masks and cleaning supplies. The rest was spent on technology and course support for teachers.

DETAILED BREAKDOWN: $2,699,684.39 Total

Item Assigned Paid
VA Teacher Salary $1,373,575.21 $1,373,575.21
Tutoring salary $43,928.58 $43,928.58
Salary for VA Course Development $244,993.12 $244,993.12
Set up VA technology $77,480.76 $77,480.76
Devices for teachers $894,200.00 $894,200.00
ESOL Supplies $510.48 $510.48
Nursing Supplies – Masks $6,164.24 $6,164.24
Cleaning supplies – Bus $58,832.00 $58,832.00
Total spent $2,699,684.39

ESSER II (Emergency Fund for Primary and Secondary Schools)
WHEN: December 2020

AMOUNT: $11.37 million (previous ESSER allocations must be spent first)

USE: The district plans to spend approximately $300,000 on the Carden Park clinic. However, less than $50,000 has been paid so far. In addition, the district has allocated approximately $300,000 in services, technology, and supplies for the Early Learning Center. But the most important item for ESSER II funds is the second phase of HVAC replacements and upgrades at St. Joseph Schools. The district has set aside $10.7 million for HVAC.

DETAILED BREAKDOWN: $11,373,645.00 Total
(As of August 31, 2021)

Item Assigned Paid
Clinic at Carden Park 21-22 $298,799.00 $49,800.00
Early Learning Center Services Purchased $79,000.00 $161.25
Early Learning Center Tech Supplies $112,796.00 $13,168.39
Early childhood education supplies $90,000.00 $9,604.24
HVAC Phase II $10,793,0500.00 $3,733,667.48

ESSER III (Emergency Fund for Primary and Secondary Schools)
WHEN: March 2021

AMOUNT: $25.24 million (previous ESSER allocations must be spent first)

USAGE: No ESSER III funds have been issued yet. But the district plans to spend $20 of the $25 million on HVAC upgrades and replacements. The other $5 million will be split between teacher support, salaries and an additional site for the Early Learning Center. About $2.5 million will go into a new program, Close the Gap, which will resemble a discontinued district tutor program. At least 20 percent of ESSER III funds should be used to address learning loss from pandemics. With the new program, SJSD has met the learning loss requirement.


(As of August 31, 2021)

Item Assigned Paid
Close the gap $2,500,000.00 $0
PLTW launch $300,000.00 $0
Early Career Teacher Support $1,000,000.00 $0
Salary for Social Workers $500,000.00 $0
library books $42,405.00 $0
Early Learning Center Additional site $705,657.00 $0
HVAC Phase III $20,192,247.00 $0
$25,240,309.00 $0

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