St. Charles School District pushes 'Prop Howell' -

St. Charles School District pushes 'Prop Howell'

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ST. CHARLES, Mo. ( -

Some voters in St. Charles will be asked if they are willing to raise taxes for the Francis Howell School District.

"Proposition Howell" will be on the November 8th ballot. It asks voters to approve a 60 cents tax levy.

In August 2015, a 90 cent tax levy in the district failed. District leaders said those funds would have taken care of pretty much everything on their wish list. They said the 60 cent tax levy would be just enough to get by since they’ve already cut $12 million from the budget in the last 2 years.

"We’ve seen increased class size, reduction in student supports, reduction in class counseling, reduction in advanced placement classes," said Rene Cope, Vice-President of the Francis Howell School District Board of Education.

If the levy fails, more cuts will have to be made.

"We’re through the skin. We are down to bone now. So the next round of cuts will substantially affect our students," said Cope. "Whether that’s in athletics, after school activities, transportation, and increased class sizes, it's all on the table."

District leaders are reminding voters the last tax increase in the district was back in 2004. Since then, they've seen a decline in revenue and an increase in expenses. Funding from the state is part of that change.

"Over the last several years, they have not fully funded that formula. So although they say this is how much it costs to fund schools, they have not been able to provide those funds," said Cope.

The district also said property values, which are below 2009 prices, are also impacting the shortfall.      

Even if the tax levy passes, the district won't see the money until the 2017-2018 school year. That means things would stay status quo this year but they could start bringing back staff and programs and updating technology next fall.             

Many voters are asking how much the tax levy will cost them. The district estimates on a $200,000 home, it would be $19 a month. You can calculate your family's expense by using the districts "Prop Howell Tax Calculator."

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