FAQs about Proposition KIDS
Q. What is Proposition KIDS?
A. Proposition KIDS is a NO TAX RATE INCREASE bond issue that allow the District to borrow money to fund capital projects such as building renovations, repairs, technology cost and other building upgrades. If approved, Proposition KIDS will generate approximately $47 million for the District without raising the District's tax rate. Pending approval, approximately $15 million will be allocated to fund an early childhood center for the City of St. Charles School District.
Q. When will voters decide upon Proposition KIDS?
A. Proposition KIDS will be voted upon on April 4th, 2017.
Q. How will the official ballot language of Proposition KIDS read?
A. This is the official ballot language of Proposition KIDS: "Shall the Board of Education of the School District of the City of St. Charles, Missouri, borrow money in the amount of Forty-Seven Million Dollars ($47,000,000) for the purpose of repairing, improving, renovating, constructing, furnishing and equipping school sites, buildings and related facilities in the District, including but not limited to (1) constructing, furnishing and quipping a new early childhood center, (2) constructing, furnishing and equipping additions to elementary schools, (3) upgrading HVAC systems, roofs, security and technology throughout District facilities, and (4) maintaining current facilities by continuing to fund capital repairs and improvements, and issue general obligation bonds for the payment thereof, resulting in no estimated increase in the debt service property tax levy? If this proposition is approved, the adjusted debt service levy of the District is estimated to remain unchanged at seventy-five cents ($0.75) per one hundred dollars assessed valuation of real and personal property."
Q. What will the money from Prop KIDS be used for?
A. Money from bond issues can only be used for capital projects such as building renovations, repairs, technology costs and other building upgrades. No money from the bond issue can or will be used for employee compensation or salary increase. In addition to all the proposed projects for the district's buildings, which can be found here
, funds from Proposition KIDS would be used to build a new early childhood center on Boone's Lick Road.
Q. How can the passing of Proposition KIDS result in a no tax rate increase?
A. If approved, the proposition will generate $47 million for the District without raising the District's debt service rate, which is seventy-five cents ($.75) per one hundred dollars assessed valuation of real and personal property.
The District is able to ask for a bond without raising the debt service due to the District's efforts to pay-off existing bond issue debt ahead of schedule. Additionally, solid financial management of the district has allowed us to address many ongoing maintenance needs over time, reducing the amount that would have otherwise been needed (the District received the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International).
Q. What is the Early Childhood Center?
A. If approved, Proposition KIDS would allow the district to build the Early Childhood Center. With proposed location of 1301 Boone's Lick Rd., the Early Childhood Center would feature 16 early childhood/ early childhood special education classrooms, multiple therapy rooms to serve the needs of all students, large multipurpose classroom, gross motor skills room, a large outdoor learning playground and will house the Parents as Teachers program that offers educational opportunities to children from birth to pre-K.
The building of the Early Childhood Center would provide approximately 200 additional spaces for students to enroll in the District and remove some of the burden placed upon the elementary schools currently housing pre-Kindergarten programs.
Q. How were the proposed school renovation and remodeling projects selected?
A. In January and February of 2016, district employees volunteered to take tours of the district's schools and collaborated with district administration to put together a list of needs for each building. Over the course of 3, 2-hour meetings during the month of September 2016, parents, district employees and community members came together to discuss the needs of the schools. At the end of these sessions, panel members created a list ranked all the proposed projects in order of importance. The results were then tabulated and a master list for the capital improvement projects was created.
Q. What happens if Proposition KIDS doesn't pass?
A. Should Proposition KIDS not be passed by the voters then the District would not move forward with the construction of the Early Childhood Center. In addition to the Early Childhood Center not being built, the district would have to delay or discard significant construction projects and building upgrades vital to keeping our schools safe, secure and up-to-date.
Q. If passed, how long will it take to complete all projects?
A. If Proposition KIDS passes, the Early Childhood Center is expected to be completed by August 2018. Completion of all other projects is scheduled for August of 2019.
Q. Didn't the district just pass a bond issue in 2014?
A. In April of 2014, City of St. Charles School District voters approved Proposition S, a 7.5 million dollar bond issue that primarily funded the enhancement of security throughout the district. The funds allowed the district to provide over 500 additional security cameras for improved video surveillance, renovate schools entrances and integrate door monitoring systems with key card access, and improve emergency communications systems, among other projects. All of the projects and improvements the District said they would complete with the funds generated from Proposition S have been completed as promised.
Now that we have more bonding capacity as a result of paying off debt, we can address other, more substantial capital projects to improve the learning environment for our students.
Q. Do other districts have early childhood centers?
A. The City of St. Charles School District is the only district in St. Charles County that does not have an early childhood center. The closest district to the east of us, Pattonville School District, also has an early childhood center.
Q. Is an Early Childhood Center necessary?
A. The Early Childhood Center is a necessity for the district. The building of the Early Childhood Center will create 200 new spaces for enrollment in the district and will allow us to move the preschool programs spread throughout the district's elementary schools to one central location. This will alleviate some of the spacing burden being placed on our elementary schools.
The Early Childhood Center is also important for the future of the district and the community. The City of St. Charles School District is the only district in St. Charles County that does not have an early childhood center. The building of the Early Childhood Center will help the City of St. Charles to remain a viable option for young families looking for a place to live in St. Charles County.
Q. What if I don't have kids in the district? How does Proposition KIDS benefit me?
A. Strong, stable public education institutions are the backbone of every successful and prosperous community. Proposition KIDS is a direct investment into community infrastructure that will affect even those who don't have direct ties to the school district.
Q. How does passing this bond issue affect the financial stability of the district?
A. If the bond issue passes, many of the major capital projects of the district will be addressed. By seeking voter approval for regular bond issues to take care of these big projects, there is not a much need to spend operating funds on them. This allows more of the operating budget to remain dedicated to instruction in our classrooms.
Q. What is the plan with the unbalanced high school enrollment numbers? Will you be moving to one high school?
A. There is no plan to combine high schools in the foreseeable future, but options to better balance the two schools will be considered.