“One of the ways in which the community has traditionally supported our schools is by approving tax and bond measures, and as we all know that didn’t happen last time” school board vice president Amy Clendennen said.
Webster Groves School District parents, board members and educators met in the PV Commons on Wednesday, Sept. 2, to discuss the failure of last year’s tax levy and bond issue, Propositions S&W.
Roughly 100 attendants participated in groups to discuss why the bond and levy didn’t pass, what it would take to get new ones to pass and ways for the school board to better communicate successes, and failures to the community.
Parents were asked what their impressions of the district were. Responses ranged from “a reason to move to Webster Groves” and “a well-rounded approach with engaged parents” to “stuck in complacency” and “strong, but not advancing at the level we think it should.”
Parent Jen Sauter said of the district, “My impression is that people move to Webster and agree to pay higher prices for homes because it’s a good district. That’s why I live here. My impression is also that we as a community have a challenge because we don’t have a lot of retail; we don’t have a large tax base besides our homes. Taxing the people that live here is the really only way to make money for our schools.”
Overall, parents seemed to be disappointed with the level of communication from the school board. Parents also did not feel informed about the significance or necessity of the bond issue, which would move the Steger Sixth Grade Center over to join Hixson Middle School.
Parents also felt they should be more informed about what the district does on a regular basis financially and what it does to save money.
Moving forward, the survey also suggested the school board should use “a variety of channels to share more detailed communication with the entire community.”
See also: “District delivers cuts.”