The 1Vision community task force proposal sets a lofty set of goals in everything from facilities planning to student performance.
They hope to balance the budget without spending down the district’s reserves, and are already considering several future bond issues for capital improvements. They also plan to continue their efforts at community engagement. (Watch the entire presentation above)
Co-chairs Tara Stoll and Curtis Zahnd told the school board a group of 40 community members volunteered to take part in the task force, attending six meetings of about two hours each. About 300 community members attended meetings at various school buildings throughout the district. From their input, the task force set out to determine what is important for quality education, what that means in terms of support, and what future steps need to be taken to achieve those goals.
If adopted by the Board of Education, the first phase of the tax plan calls for a vote in November on increasing the district levy by a total of $1.15, which includes the 63-cent operating levy and 52 cents via the Prop-C rollback. If approved by voters, Zahnd said the levy increase would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $218.50 per year in taxes.
Stoll told the board that 95% of the school districts in Missouri have restored the full Proposition-C tax waiver. The 63-cent operating levy was allowed to expire during the peak of the school district’s controversies over stipends and nepotism.
If approved by voters, the proposal would generate an additional $11.5 million dollars in revenue each year. Zahnd said they’re recommending $5.4 million of that be spent to maintain and improve the current staff and programs with a balanced budget, and to continue basic building maintenance and repair. He also listed some new needs for the coming school year that will cost about $6.1 million.
“And then there are new needs,” Zahnd said. “Student performance, achievement and safety; after-school student opportunities and programs; curriculum and instructions; what’s very important now, the HVAC, and the technology, for a total of $6.1 million. Again, that total: $11.5 million annually.”
As it stands now, the board could consider such a proposal at their next meeting August 14. Board Chairman Martin Rucker told board members they have plenty of time to go over the details of the very extensive task-force proposal.