ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV) -- Just a year after the Francis Howell School District slashed budgets and cut dozens of teaching positions, the athletic fields are getting a facelift.
District officials said they will spend $1.4 million on synthetic turf fields at two high schools. The district has $11 million left over from a 2008 bond issue.
But in the wake of drastic cuts to teaching positions, questions have arisen on whether that money should go toward a football field.
“It gives the band, football, as well as soccer additional space to use,” said Francis Howell School Board President Marty Hodits.
Hodits has been asked how the field landed as top priority with dozens of teacher jobs cuts in the last few years.
“The law does not allow us to use bond money for general revenue for the district,” he said.
Hodits says putting the extra money from the 2008 bond issue toward teacher salaries was never an option because Missouri law requires that money to fund long-term improvement projects.
“They don’t want you taking money from bond funds, which is usually a10- or 20-year payback fund to pay for teacher salaries, classroom supplies, this type of thing,” he said.