WSD Places Two Propositions on April Ballot
The Wentzville School District Board of Education has voted unanimously to place two propositions on the April 7, 2020 ballot to accommodate the continued growth of the District, as well as the need for additional staff and wage increases to help close the gap between the WSD and neighboring districts.
PROPOSITION C is a $105 million no-tax-increase bond issue to build a new middle school on the same site where the District is currently building a fourth high school, to expand and renovate the District’s three existing middle schools, to address maintenance issues at existing buildings and purchase items related to school safety.
PROPOSITION S is a $0.49 tax levy to address staffing and provide needed support across the District, improve salaries to address widening wage gaps between the WSD and neighboring school districts, and to update and add safety features across the District.
The WSD continues to be the fastest growing school district in Missouri, adding on average nearly 600 new students each year since 2001. This past year, enrollment increased from 16,789 students to 17,335 – an increase of 546 students. According to projections in a demographic study released last May by MGT Consulting, there is no end in sight to the District’s continued growth; in fact, the WSD could add more than 5,000 students in the next decade.
"The community has supported our efforts to address the growth for many years," said Superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain. "While we absolutely need to continue to build classroom space, we also need to address the gaps we have in terms of the number of staff members who are supporting students as well as the compensation we provide for those staff members who continue to do more with less as a result of our growth."
The Board held two work sessions in November and December to discuss addressing the need for additional space, as well as the growing concern over the District’s lack of staff to provide adequate support for students and the growing gap in salaries for multiple positions between the WSD and neighboring school districts. "We have done as much as we can with the resources we have at our disposal," said Dr. Cain. "We have reached the point where it is no longer working and the growing gap between us and other districts is problematic." The starting teacher salary in the WSD is currently $39,250; the lowest in St. Charles County and the operating rate has not been increased for salaries and staffing for over 15 years. During that time, the District has added over 9,500 new students and built nine new schools.
Proposition C will require 57.14% to pass and Proposition S will require a simple majority to pass.
#WSDgrows - Part I