Metro-East schools: We need more revenue

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by Dan Greenwald / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on April 5, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 8 at 12:58 PM

O’FALLON, Ill. (KMOV.com) – Many Metro-East school districts say new tax revenue is needed to avoid devastating cuts.

The superintendent of O’Fallon District 90 says the district has already notified dozens of teachers that they may not be back next school year if a referendum to raise taxes does not pass on April 9. He also says that some programs would be cut.

"We would be without our extracurricular activities, without our electives at the junior high which includes band and chorus and computers," said Dr. Todd Koehl.

District 90 has around 3500 students from Kindergarten to eighth grade, seven schools, more than 200 teachers, and a $34 million budget.

"We've cut a lot,” Koehl said. “I'm sure people will argue there are other places we can cut and that's what we're doing, is cutting in the places we can cut."

Not everyone is in favor of the referendum. A group called “Citizens Against District 90” says it is perfectly fine to vote against the proposal.

Supporters say the tax hike is needed to maintain the school’s standard, its class sizes are already larger than the state average.

A short distance away from O’Fallon District 90, Grant District 110 says it is financially treading water.

“Art, music, computers, PE classes, administration, maintenance, part-time nurses, part-time aids, we’re doing everything we can do to not detrimentally affect the kids. We've cut and we just don't have anything left," Superintendent Mark Stines said.

Stines says if a tax increase does not pass the district will run of money within a year. He adds it could borrow money to stay afloat for an additional year but will not be able to survive after that.
 

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