The Ladue School Board has endorsed two propositions that will be in this year’s ballot that directly affect public education in Missouri.
At their regular board meeting, board members voted to endorse both Prop S and Prop B, which will bring tax revenues to the Special School District and to public education in general.
Prop S is a tax levy of 19 cents per $100 assessed valuation that will allow Special School District to renovate facilities and maintain staff after suffering budget cuts over the years. The proposition would raise the district’s tax levy from $1 per $100 assessed valuation to $1.19 per $100.
According to a previous Patch story, if Prop S is approved, funds would go toward technology programs, competitive teacher salaries and $85 million in needed building renovations at seven district buildings located in Ladue, Town and Country, Florissant, Sunset Hills and Crestwood. While the vast majority of the district's students are educated in their home school district, Cary said SSD facilities have largely gone without significant upgrades for between 10-20 years. The largest single upgrade would come at Northview High School in Florissant, which needs $24.5 million to build a new school.
In Ladue, Litzsinger School will undergo four major improvements at a cost of $7 million. The improvements will replace HVAC systems, construct a new gym, add covered bus loading and unloading zones and convert two large areas into a small restroom and storage room.
“They (SDD) serve a lot of students in our school district,” said Susan Dielmann, Ladue School District communications director. “Our students are ultimately beneficiaries of any funds the Special School District has to improve their operation so we would certainly be in favor of that.”
Prop B would raise the cigarette tax by 73 cents, and approximately one-half of the funds generated by the proposal will go to Missouri elementary and secondary schools, according to a memorandum to the school board. Prop B will generate between $283 million to $423 million.
Signs across many gas stations accuse Prop B of raising taxes by 760 percent.
“Yes, it is a tax increase on those who choose to smoke,” said Marsha Chappelow, Ladue Schools superintendent, in a memo to the board. “Yes, it is designed to increase the cost of cigarettes and decrease tobacco use among Missourians. There are 8,600 Missouri kids under the age of 18 who become daily smokers each year.”
Although approximately 90 percent of the Ladue School District’s funding comes from local sources and not the state, the district was supportive of the possible impact on students’ health.
“The health of our students and funding for schools are two important issues to us,” Chappelow said in a statement.