(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph School District is looking to move forward after a hard loss in the Nov. 7 election.
Proposition 1, a ballot measure to increase the property tax rate to $1.15, was struck down by voters 72.13% to 27.87% percent. All 18 precincts rejected the tax increase.
According the Buchanan County Clerk’s Office, approximately 37 percent of registered voters came out to vote on Proposition 1, with a total of 17,216 ballots cast.
SJSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Newhart is looking to focus on the students rather than the loss.
“We’ve got to regroup and look to go forward. As I told the staff we have 11,000 students showing up tomorrow for school and we’ll walk in and be the best professionals we can be,” Newhart said.
The proposed tax would have raised $11.5 million annually for the school district. Without the additional funds the district plans to cut $7.5 million from next year's budget. Newhart says the district plans to use its resources to prevent impact on the classroom as much as possible.
Newhart says the district does not plan to retry the tax initiative in April, but the district isn’t done trying to regain the community’s trust.
“With the effort we tried to put in on this one and the steps and strives we’ve made; what the public is telling us is that we’ve got to do a better job yet,” Newhart said.