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Tax Hike Approved For Kirkwood Schools

Kirkwood School District's Prop K is a 46-cent tax increase

Students and parents rally April 4 in front of North Glendale School in support of Prop P. photo by Ursula Ruhl. (click for larger version)

April 07, 2017
Kirkwood residents approved Prop K a 46-cent property tax rate increase for the Kirkwood School District with more than half of voters supporting the measure that will provide the district with $5.8 million a year.

On Tuesday, nearly 60 percent of voters checked the "yes" box for Prop K, while roughly 42 percent said "no." The vote was 8,532 (58 percent) in favor to 6,188 (42 percent) against.

The measure's approval will mean an increase of roughly $220 a year on a home appraised at $250,000.

Prop K is the first property tax rate increase the Kirkwood School District has had in 12 years. Voters most recently rejected a 78-cent property tax increase in November 2015, after which the district made roughly $5 million in budget cuts that included eliminating 25 teachers, 24 support staff and three administrators.

While campaigning for Prop K, district officials said the increase was necessary to avoid further cuts. Passage of Prop K means the district can avoid cuts to bus transportation, student clubs and athletics, summer school and credit enhancement courses, elementary music programs and more.

Washington University
Prop K's success means the district will be able to ensure support for all students as enrollment continues to increase, and protect class sizes, student programs, transportation services, and safety and security.

It will also allow the district to restore roughly $2 million in budget cuts and some of the teaching positions. The district could also re-hire reading and math specialist positions that were cut.

District officials thank the community for supporting Prop K.

"We understand you had choices when voting and recognize the financial impact of Proposition K on our community," Kirkwood School District Superintendent Tom Williams and Kirkwood School Board President Darnel Frost said in a joint statement. "We appreciate the trust you place in the district and our financial stewardship of your tax dollars. Thanks to your support of Kirkwood students, we now have the flexibility to address needs in critical areas while avoiding cuts to valuable programs and services. We will work with our building principals in the coming days and weeks to review enrollment for the 2017-18 school year and the plan for the instructional needs of our students. Additional information will be shared as we determine staffing."

For every dollar of Prop K invested, 70 cents will go to teachers and instructional specialists, 11 cents will go to teaching assistants and support staff, seven cents will go classroom instructional items, eight cents will go to safety, nurses, student transportation and property insurance, and four cents will go toward administration.

Tags: Election Results 2017

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