St. Joseph School District Goes Through Rough 2017

After an FBI investigation led to an internal shake-up for the Board of Education, voters struck down a school tax increase overwhelmingly in early November.

Posted: Dec 29, 2017 5:04 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2018 10:18 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph School District faced the sins of the past and spent the year paying for past mistakes.

At the top of the list was former superintendent and board member Dan Colgan being sent to prison for a year. Colgan was forced to repay more than $660,000 he defrauded from the state's teacher retirement fund that was discovered as part of a two-year FBI investigation.

Also this spring, we got our first glimpses into a part of that more than 3,300 page FBI report.

In a KQ2 exclusive we learned more about the secret stipend policy for administrators that was the tip of the iceberg to all the other district problems that were later uncovered. 

Board member Chris Danford resigned and then campaigned alongside former board member Eric Bruder against the school district tax increase.

The public decided to listen to them and they showed they had not yet forgiven the district. 

The tax question failed overwhelmingly with a 72-28 percent margin.

That decision left the district hurting even more for revenue after deficit spending for several years.

To try and balance the budget, the board decided to close two elementary schools in early Dec. as part of making more than $8 million in cuts.

Also, the district ended the year looking for a new chief administrator after current superintendent Rober Newhart announced that this would be his final year at the St. Joseph School District.

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