Board Unanimously Approves - Proposition R - Right for Kids, Right for the Community
A Zero-Tax Rate Change Proposal Would Address Overcrowding, Safety and Security Challenges and More
Faced with overcrowded classrooms and lack of adequate instructional space in its schools, the Kirkwood School District Board of Education unanimously voted on Monday, Jan. 25, to place a zero-tax rate change bond proposal on the April 6, 2021 ballot.
The proposal, called Proposition R, is a ballot issue designed to provide the financial resources to address overcrowding and maintain class sizes with additional classrooms, update aging infrastructure and systems, enhance safety and security district-wide, and complete additional needed facility updates. If approved by voters, every building in the District would be improved. Proposition R requires 57.143% voter approval.
Prop R does not include a new elementary school building. Prop R is a zero-tax rate increase, which allows the District’s current tax rate for debt retirement to remain the same. One of the key factors in the Board’s decision to place Prop R on the April ballot was the ability to secure funding for improvements, without changing the tax rate.
“For more than 150 years, people in our community have stepped up and done what is right for kids, said Kirkwood Superintendent Dr. David Ulrich. “Our schools have been a source of pride for our community for a very long time and we need to keep our buildings in good condition so they will remain so. I’m confident that our community will realize the challenges we now face with enrollment growth and will step up and provide the classrooms our children need and deserve.”
The Board of Education vote followed recommendations by the District’s administrative staff and discussions with teachers, parents and community members throughout the District. The recommendation was also based on feedback from input sessions and a district-wide survey of Kirkwood parents, community members and staff.
“We are fortunate that we can make these essential improvements without raising our property tax rate,” said Board of Education President Chad Kavanaugh. “We understand that our parents, teachers and residents have experienced a long and challenging year with COVID-19. But while the pandemic will end, challenges with enrollment growth and lack of classroom spaces will not go away. Our community has always provided the type of schools our children need. And we can take this important step with zero change to our tax rate.”