Parents and school board respond to failed tax levy

11 months 3 days 1 hour ago Thursday, September 14 2017 Sep 14, 2017 Thursday, September 14, 2017 6:06:00 PM CDT September 14, 2017 in News
By: Stephanie Lorenc, KOMU 8 Reporter
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CENTRALIA – Centralia’s school district tried to take education funding into their own hands this past August placing a 60 cent tax levy on August’s special election ballot.

But Proposition 1 – the tax levy – was voted down 52 percent to 48 percent. The result of the vote left many shocked because before the election there was a 70 percent vote for “yes” predicted according to Centralia’s superintendent Darin Ford.

Ford said the school district voted to put this on the ballot since funding from the state and federal governments has decreased the past several years.
 
“It was basically to pay the bills; you know we have a lot of need that students have you know resource wise and over the last decade costs have gone up and so we were looking to increase our operating funding,” Ford said.
 
As a result of Prop 1 not passing, some parents are concerned about the future of their child’s education. Ronnie and Tracie Roberts are especially concerned for their son Trevor’s education because he suffers from Cerebral Palsy. 
 
“We want what’s best for our kiddo and all the other children here in the Centralia school district. However, cuts are going to have to be made there’s going to be consequences to prop1 not passing and it’s going to be hurtful,” Tracie Roberts said. 
 
The Roberts said they were strong advocates for Prop 1 since they found out it was going to be placed on the ballot. 
 
“This one that really hit home to us because part about the money for special education the sky rocketing cost of special education and the funding is going down and down each year from the state,” Ronnie Roberts said.
 
Currently Centralia has the lowest tax levy in all of Boone County, and even if Proposition 1 had passed, Centralia would still have the lowest in the county. 

“Obviously none of us what to pay more taxes,” Ronnie Roberts said.
 
“This tax was going right to our local schools. All of it was a local tax that would 100% stay in our school district and if you’re going to pay a tax that’s the tax that you want to pay that’s going to stay locally and effect everything in your community,” Tracie Roberts added. 
 
Ford said the school board has not yet decided what they will cut if cuts need to be made and it is in a “wait and see mode” right now.
 
“The board put forward its priorities the last board meeting that we had after the levy failed and I think one of the areas that we are going to make sure that we cover are student resources to the best of our ability,” Ford said. “I didn’t ever want to be in a position where I think that our kids are at a disadvantage to other students in the area.”

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