Parents protest budget cuts outside Hazelwood School Board -

Parents protest budget cuts outside Hazelwood School Board

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV

Parents of students that attend the Hazelwood School District are protesting a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.

They're trying to save their children's music and other extracurricular programs to budget cuts. News 4 has been tracking these rather controversial school district meetings where hundreds pack into the room just like during Tuesday’s meeting.

Outside of the meeting, parents are encouraging people to sign a petition that would request Missouri to conduct an independent audit of the school district.

Back in February, Hazelwood made significant budget cuts. They affected programs like band and gym.  Since the cuts, parents came together and formed the parent action committee – their goal is to try and reverse those cuts. 

The committee initially met with district officials, but won't be doing so anymore.  Parents are now trying to get the cuts reversed using their own means.

The budget cuts come at a time when the Hazelwood School District just hired a new superintendent. Nettie Collins-Hart will be paid $235,000 when she starts on July 1. That is compared to the $230,000 Grayling Tobias made as Hazelwood Superintendent.

The district later issued a statement based on the News 4 report:

The parent action committee (PAC) has requested to meet with our Board. However, the Board has directed the superintendent and school administrators to meet with the group since the administration is responsible for making budget recommendations to the Board. In fact, on several occasions school administrators have met with this group on behalf of the Board.

The District has gone above and beyond in its effort to have an open dialogue with our students, parents, patrons, community partners, and other stakeholders regarding our budget, including the Parent Action Committee (PAC). School administrators first met with all members of this group during a three-hour session on March 9.  Administrators again met with the PAC in a second session on March 30 for 90 minutes. They also met with individual members of the PAC to address specific, individual concerns. In addition, administrators have exchanged both email correspondences and numerous telephone calls answering questions and hearing concerns.

Finally, at the last several board meetings, the Board has listened to each and every comment and concern brought forward by the PAC, staff members and other community members. The school superintendent or delegates have the authority to represent the Board of Education, based on policies CB and KB.

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