District reactions mixed as Francis Howell tax increase fails fo - KMOV.com

District reactions mixed as Francis Howell tax increase fails for third time

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ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Teacher salaries are a hot topic across the country, and locally, voters rejected a tax increase that would have gone toward salary increases.

This is the third time in less than three years voters said no to a tax proposal by the Francis Howell School District.

With the latest rejection of the proposal, the district’s future is up to the school board. Some proponents were disappointed in the outcome, saying they worry about the future of education in the district.

"I voted yes,” said parent Erin Caby. "Because my son is now first year, going to be in kindergarten this year and it would affect him greatly."

However, many of the proposition’s detractors said the district didn't need the increase and was trying to be a Mercedes district when voters were just fine with a Camry.

Retired residents on a fixed income in the district said they hope school officials finally get the message that they can't afford higher taxes.

"Well they don't take no for an answer, they want money, that's all, it's just greed," said resident Earl Nestel.

With previous tax proposals the district warned of drastic cuts without new revenue. This time the district only said the money would add staff, programs and raise salaries.

But, on average, Francis Howell teachers make $7,000 more than the next highest paid teachers in St. Charles County.

"I voted no actually,” said district senior Josh Wagner. “I felt that we're spending our money on unnecessary things"

In a statement, superintendent Dr. Mary Hendricks Harris said:

"In spite of this setback, the district will make every effort to continue providing a quality education while remaining good stewards of taxpayer dollars. We will work to minimize the negative impact of any additional cuts on our classrooms and on student learning."

The superintendent also thanked those who worked toward passage of the proposal and those voted in favor of it.

She said the school board will decide what comes next.

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