Columbia School Board votes to send two measures to April ballot

3 years 6 hours 33 minutes ago Monday, December 14 2015 Dec 14, 2015 Monday, December 14, 2015 10:45:00 PM CST December 14, 2015 in News
By: Corie Wilkins, KOMU 8 Reporter and Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
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COLUMBIA - The Columbia School Board voted Monday night to send two measures to the April election ballot that could help finance Columbia Public Schools.

The board voted that voters should decide on a 65-cent levy increase and a no-tax-rate bond issue.

The two financing issues will help shape how the education system in Columbia is funded.

The levy increase would generate $14.3 million, which is the exact amount of money necessary to end deficit spending.

The money would go towards investing in better training techniques and equipment for teachers in the Columbia school system as well as salary increases to keep teachers in Columbia's system.

The levy increase translates into $185.25 for the average city household.

The no-tax-rate bond issue would bring in $35 million, but would require residents to allow the board to go into additional debt.

Board members said this is another potential solution becuase it would allow construction of a new middle school on the south side of town.

Keeping the current no-tax-increase bond would not bring any changes to community members' tax bills. However, it would delay changes in the education system until 2018.

Board members said such an investment would continue to show years into the future.

"I support both on the ballot because it shows we keep our promises to the community and that we are great stewards of taxpayer dollars," board member Jonathan Sessions said.

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