Cuts loom in St. Charles County school district -

Cuts loom in St. Charles County school district

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A big crowd assembled Thursday night in St. Charles County as the Francis Howell School District considers massive cuts.     

A little more than a week ago, voters said "no" to "Prop Howell,” a 60 cent tax levy would have helped balance the budget.

“It's been a very, very difficult week for everyone involved and primarily that is the reason for our disappointment and our sadness," said Superintendent Mary Hendricks-Harris. "We know we've been doing great things for kids. We know we have had the resources to support high achievement, support our kids who both require additional supports and our high-achieving students."

The district already cut $20 million in the past two years. That included tutoring, some AP classes for high schoolers, and support staff positions. Hendricks-Harris said the next round of cuts will impact students even more. They began talking about potential cuts at Thursday's Board of Education meeting.

Choir, along with athletics, transportation, after school activities are all on the table to be cut. There could also be increased class sizes. 

One student sad she hopes choir does not get the ax.

"Choir is my favorite class and it makes my day a whole lot better and the people in choir are honestly my best friends," says sophomore Myah Eggert. 

The district already cut $20 million dollars in the past two years. With voters turning down the 60 cent tax levy last week, the superintendent says students will significantly feel the next round of cuts, whatever they maybe, for the 2017/2018 school year. 

"The majority of the expenses in our district are related to transportation and staff salary so those will be two things that will have to be discussed moving forward and in addition we will discuss cuts to things like extracurricular activities," said Hendricks-Harris.

Hendricks-Harris said everything is on the table, even salaries for administration.

The timetable for those cuts is still up in the air. Administrators will recommend the changes but it will ultimately be up to the board to approve them.

This is the second time within a year and half that a tax levy for the district failed. The superintendent said after being told “no” twice by voters, they have no immediate plans to ask again, but it could be a point of conversation in the coming months.

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