Webster Groves School District cuts 11 teachers to balance budge - KMOV.com

Webster Groves School District cuts 11 teachers to balance budget

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WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. (KMOV.com) - To cut the $1.6 million needed to balance the budget in the Webster Groves School District, officials were required to notify 11 teachers their contracts would not be renewed on Wednesday.

Webster Groves voters did not pass Proposition S, a property tax increase which would have maintained teacher salaries and kept the budget balanced within the district.

"I was disappointed by the vote," said Dr. Sarah Riss, superintendent of the district. "We're going to have to make some cuts, so that does mean there might be some increased class sizes."

Voters in the area told News 4 they've had enough of tax increases. Dr. Riss said the proposal was too much, too fast, according to feedback she has received.

"I think everybody has had a bunch of tax increases from Webster over the last 10 years," said Mike Mahoney, a Webster Groves resident. "I think everybody is just tired of paying more in taxes every couple of years."

Dr. Riss said the new county property tax assessments released that have big valuation increases for some may have played a role in the vote.

"It's been going on since I've lived here, and I've lived here 40 years," said Joyce Hummel, who lives in Webster Groves. "People are tired. The government taxes to death."

The district needs to be aware of tax fatigue, Dr. Riss said. She cannot currently say whether the district will try to go back to voters in the fall, but if they do the proposal will be very different from Proposition S.

"Right now we have to focus on balancing our budget, then we'll take the next step of deciding," said Dr. Riss, who wants parents to know the cuts will be kept as far away from the classroom as possible. "We're going to take good care of your kids. We will continue to offer a great education."

Teachers who were giving the notice their contracts would not be renewed could be brought back depending on what other cuts are made.

The impact on class sizes will not be known until the district gets enrollment numbers in the fall.
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