Francis Howell Voters Fail to Approve Proposition Howell

Posted on 11/09/2016

Francis Howell School District Proposition Howell Election ResultsOn Election Day, November 8, 2016, voters in the Francis Howell School District failed to approve Proposition Howell, a 60-cent operating levy. The increased funding would have allowed the District to maintain high student academic achievement by reducing class sizes, improving safety, increasing technology, restoring tutoring, attracting and retaining high quality teachers, maintaining District facilities and maintaining existing bus transportation. The last time that District voters approved a tax increase was in 2004.

“I felt it was the responsibility and the duty of the entire Board of Education to let our stakeholders know we needed additional revenue to provide the quality education our community expects and our students deserve,” said Board President Mark Lafata. “The majority of voters in the District did not support the measure, so the Board of Education will be meeting later this month to determine our next steps.”

Because of increasing costs and stagnant revenues, FHSD has had to reduce staff by the equivalent of 190 full-time positions since 2008. In fiscal year 2016, FHSD cut $8.2 million from the budget and reduced the equivalent of 62 full-time positions. The District also cut an additional $4 million for this school year, which includes the equivalent of 36 full-time positions.

“I’m certainly disappointed with the results, and I worry about the long-term effect on our student learning,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Hendricks-Harris. “We will continue to make reductions and at the same time try to minimize the negative impact on the classroom and our students moving forward. I want to thank all of our volunteers who worked so hard to try to get this ballot initiative passed. It has been heartwarming to see people come together to support our students and our schools."

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