Strafford School District asks voters to approve bond, tax levy questions in April

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:05 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:12 PM CDT
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STRAFFORD, Mo. (KY3) - The Strafford School District is asking voters to approve a $10 million bond for facility upgrades. It’s also asking voters to raise the tax levy to increase wages for and hire new staff and teachers.

Shane Johnson grew up in Strafford. He moved out of town due to high taxes. He says enough is enough.

“We already pay too much,” said Johnson. ”We lived here for like 12 years, and our apartment just kept getting higher and higher and higher in taxes and stuff. And we decided to be best is to go invest our money into a home that we can live in.”

Leaders at the Strafford School District say they hear those complaints, but they say it’s all worth it for the kids.

”We want to be the district of choice, so if we do whatever we can to get the quality people in front of our kids, then that’s what’s going to benefit our kids more than anything,” said district Superintendent Dr. Mark Hedger.

The school is asking for the levy to be raised from 2.75% to 3.1%. That would mean the owner of a house worth $200,000 would pay $133 more in taxes each year. Dr. Hedger says they understand times are tough, adding that the upgrades would be worth it.

”If you compare that to the other districts around, we have the lowest tax rate currently, by far,” said Dr. Hedger.

Dr. Hedger added that the $10 million bond would expand programs and upgrade schools.

”The big focus, though, is early childhood. We would like to have several additional classrooms to increase our preschool program for able to do this,” said Dr. Hedger. He said with the money. They could double their program and increase safety for students and staff.

“With this bond issue, we’d have some classrooms that are considered too high wind capacity,” said Dr. Hedger. “So [with the money], we would have the ability for every one of our students on campus to have access to harden space in the event of a storm.”

For more information on the ballot proposals, check out this link.

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