ST. CHARLES COUNTY • A reduction of about 80 Francis Howell School District jobs, half of them teachers, would occur in the next school year under a plan presented Thursday night.
The proposal was submitted to the school board by district administrators to help deal with a projected $22 million revenue shortfall.
Other spending cuts will be recommended later as well. District officials also are considering asking voters to approve a property tax increase, as soon as next August.
Steve Griggs, the district’s chief human resources officer, said he expected that the “vast majority” of the job cuts, perhaps all of them, could be achieved by attrition as employees retire or leave for other jobs.
“That’s certainly our hope,” he said.
He said about half the reductions would be among certified staff, primarily teachers. The remainder, he said, would be support workers.
He said the staffing reductions would save the district about $4.2 million.
Kevin Supple, the district’s chief financial officer, said underfunding of the state school foundation formula by the Missouri Legislature is part of the problem.
He also pointed out that the district’s property tax rate dropped this year — by 20 cents per $100 assessed valuation.
That’s because the 20-cent portion was approved only for a predetermined number of years, officials said.
The board didn’t make a decision on the job cuts Thursday but may do so next month. Eric Seider, the school board president, said, “It’s always sad when we have to make these tough decisions.”
Randy Watson, a district resident who spoke at the meeting, contended that the size of pay raises given teachers in recent years was a main reason for the district’s financial problems.
“We don’t have the money to do this,” Watson said of the raises in an interview.