By Dr. Curtis Cain
Over the last few weeks, I have been presenting to groups small and large across the District about what Proposition E is and why we need it. Stakeholders have been overwhelmingly supportive and have asked what they can do to help spread the word. My response has been to please educate yourself on the Proposition (all the details are available on our District website) and please encourage everyone to get to the polls on April 3rd. Last April, only 11% of registered voters in the WSD turned out to cast a ballot. In addition to Prop E, we also have four Board of Education candidates running for two open seats, and their information and biographies are available on the WSD website as well.
I’ve shared many times how proud I am of the team that makes up the Wentzville School District. We strategize about growth on a weekly basis; it is part of the threading that makes up the fabric of the WSD. Yet it has not deterred us from our primary focus: our students and the work our teachers are doing in the classroom. The classroom is the reason we have a school district and the outstanding accomplishments of our students are a direct reflection on our dedicated and professional staff. We all want to continue to move this great district forward, and we all recognize the correlation between strong schools and strong communities.
Proposition E is a $125 million no-tax increase bond issue to build a new high school, a new elementary school, a new gym at Holt high school and classroom additions at Barfield Early Childhood Special Education Center, Pearce Hall, and Peine Ridge Elementary. How are we able to do this without an increase in taxes? A number of factors have all come together at the right time: we have increased revenue from higher assessed valuations and a broader tax base; we have taken advantage of lower interest rates and refinanced our existing bonds nine times in the past eight years for a total interest cost savings of over $23.7 million; we have made strategic fund transfers from our general fund to our debt service fund; and our employees have demonstrated sound, fiscal responsibility across the District.
This community has always been very supportive of the work we are doing in our schools. We appreciate your continued support as we work together to move our exceptional district forward and ensure that every student has the space to learn and grow. Please take the time to exercise your right to vote on April 3rd.