Joplin school board’s AP spending balloons in wake of May tornado

Joplin, Missouri's school board recently approved what is thought to be the largest ever accounts payable bill for the district, the Joplin Globe reports.

An accounts payable audit conducted to determine the total payments for the month of July and the first half of August put the final figure at approximately $29.5 million – significantly higher than the usual $6 million to $7 million.

"The destruction brought on by the (May 22) tornado to buildings and furniture and supplies is the largest part of what's driving that number up," Paul Barr, chief financial officer for the school district, explained to the news source.

Using insurance proceeds, Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements and some of its own funds, the district is able to foot the bill, which was also incurred by temporary school construction costs, site leases and equipment purchases.

According to an ABC News report, the tornado damaged nearly one-third of the city. The devastation at Joplin High School was described by its principal as resembling pictures of World War II bombings. 

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