The Wentzville School District Board of Education has unanimously voted to place a 25 cent tax levy increase on the April 7, 2015 ballot to accommodate the continued enrollment growth of the District.
“Our needs have not changed since November,” shared Superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain. “We must make room for the hundreds of new students we add each year. Most of our buildings are at or nearing capacity and new construction takes time. If we want student achievement to remain in the top 8% in the state, it’s imperative that we provide adequate space for all students to learn and thrive.”
Based on voter feedback, Proposition E was modified from the November election to include additional classrooms at Holt High School and provide the funds necessary to purchase land for future school sites. Proceeds from Proposition E would also be used to construct a new elementary school, complete Phase Two of Liberty High School, construct additional classrooms at Discovery Ridge, Duello and Lakeview elementary schools, purchase equipment and furnishings for the new classrooms, upgrade security throughout the District, and upgrade science and FACS classrooms at Wentzville Middle School.
The operating levy will require a simple majority from voters and includes a Sunset Clause that would expire no later than 2035.
The District’s tax rate is currently one of the lowest in St. Charles County at $4.99 per $100 of assessed value. The proposed levy would increase that rate to $5.24 per $100 of assessed value. District residents who own a home with a market value of $200,000 could expect to pay an additional $7.92 per month if the proposition passes.
The WSD has been the fastest growing school district in Missouri in the 21st Century. Enrollment has increased by more than 8,000 students since 2001, averaging well over 600 new students every year. According to projections in a demographic study released last year by Business Information Services, the WSD could add more than 5,000 new students over the next decade. The report’s key findings include calculations that indicate one third of the District’s schools are currently over capacity.
“A primary concern in our analysis is the Wentzville District’s ability to house the anticipated number of students,” the report states. “By 2018, the District’s enrollment could be 16,832 in buildings designed to hold only 15,583 students.” The entire Demographics and Enrollment Projection Study can be found on the District website.