The 70-foot hackberry tree that stood on Benton Elementary School for more than 100 years was removed Monday because it was considered a safety hazard by several specialists.
Administrators hope to see 250 early retirements to go along with about 250 layoffs, cutting $34 million from the budget.
Student questions to panel members showed concerns about funding cuts and their potential effects on high school curriculum.
The Hackberry tree or "Giving Tree" is going to be removed Monday because it has become a safety hazard to those around it.
For the first time, the Missouri Scholars Academy is charging students $500 to help offset cuts in state funding.
Rohit Rao, 13, and Daniel Shapiro, 14, competed for a shot at the National Geographic Bee in Washington D.C., placing second and sixth, respectively.
The new Columbia School Board met for the first time together Monday night to discuss salary schedules and teachers' working conditions with teacher organizations.
Teacher salaries and finances are scheduled to be discussed by the Columbia School Board on Monday. The board is also scheduled to elect a president and vice president.
A fire in a Fredericktown Middle School Saturday spread through the school. The district is planning how to shuffle students.
School leaders cite nearly 130 informative presentations and face-to-face meetings with more than 7,000 members of the community as vital to the 77 percent voter approval of the $120 million school bond.
A Missouri Senate committee decided Thursday to eliminate state funding for a program that pays teachers extra money for after-school tutoring.
The $37 million Career Ladder program provides teachers with extra pay for things such as after-school tutoring, but Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Rob Mayer of Dexter said the money could be used to help close a projected $500 million shortfall in next year's budget.
Incumbents Jan Mees and James Whitt both won three-year seats on the Columbia School Board, along with newcomer Jonathan Sessions for a one-year term. Dan Holt and Phil Peters plan to continue their involvement in Columbia education, whether on the board or not.
About 77 percent of voters approved a $120 million bond issue put forth by Columbia Public Schools.
Now finishing his first year on the Columbia School Board, Whitt said closing the academic achievement gap and providing adequate physical facilities are two key goals.
Jan Mees, who is running to keep her seat on the Columbia School Board, said her primary goals are closing the academic achievement gap between students and balancing the district budget.
Dan Holt said his Columbia School Board loss in 2009 left him with “unfinished business." He's ready to change that outcome in his favor in 2010.
Business owner and Hickman High School graduate Jonathan Sessions, 27, sees his age as an advantage in the race for the Columbia School Board. He looks to provide a generational perspective and technological knowledge to the board during a one-year term.
MU law professor Philip Peters emphasizes the link between early childhood education and success in school later. He says when he looks at an issue, he begins with the evidence.
Contributions for the awards come from area residents and businesses.