The day to cast a vote on the proposed tax levy is Tuesday.
As previously reported, the St. Joseph School District Board of Education approved language for a $1.15 tax increase. The levy was placed on the November ballot without a sunset clause.
The move comes after the district’s special task force, 1Vision recommended the increase which includes a 63-cent operating levy and 52 cents via the Prop-C rollback.
Groups on both sides of the issue say they desire a healthy school district but have differing ideas on how to achieve that.
Kristi Arthur and Pat Dillon are part of Move St. Joseph Forward, a group in support of Proposition 1.
“Hopefully people realize this is happening because the 63 cents sunset several years ago,” Arthur said. “So to get that back into the operating dollars and then we’re adding 52 cents to be able to plan for the future and add teachers and do some air conditioning for some of the schools and one-to-one technology. There’s a lot of really good information in the 1Vision plan that you can find so.. Look at the 1Vision plan and you can find out what the money is going to be going to.”
Chris Danford and Eric Bruder are two former St. Joseph School District Board of Education members. Danford and Bruder are part of Support A Better SJSD, a group in opposition to Proposition 1.
Danford said a no vote is not against students or the school, but against the current plan. Danford said if Proposition 1 does not pass on Tuesday, the next step is to go back to the drawing board and come up with another plan.
“We can get there (to having a healthy school district) if we’re intentional about how we’re going to get there. This plan is very vague. Let’s be intentional, let’s focus on student achievement… We need to address teacher’s salaries, we need to address those class sizes, we need to look at that operating expenses, what is truly needed, it isn’t $1.15,” Danford said. “We need to look at pulling those capital expenses out but then you have to have a facilities plan. That doesn’t happen overnight, it’s going to take some time.”
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. For more information about Election Day and to view sample ballots, click here.
Find the full interviews with 680 KFEQ’s Barry Birr on the Hotline below: