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Rockwood School District

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Proposition 3

Next Steps

With the passing of Prop 3, 36 cents will be moved from Debt Service to Capital Projects in tax year 2024, and 18 cents will be moved from Debt Service to Capital Projects in tax year 2025. Having these annual funds allows us to be proactive and follow our long-term capital plan rather than address failing systems as they occur.

In the first year (2024-25), this transfer is expected to  generate approximately $17 million for safety, technology and facilities. The following year (beginning in 2025-26), once the transfer is fully phased in, the annual amount generated for cycle updates and maintenance is expected to be approximately $26-27 million.

Prop 3 collections in the Capital Projects Fund will not begin until December, 2024. Facility maintenance projects, such as HVAC and roofing replacements, are normally completed during the summer when students are out of the building, so the first year of facility projects will likely not begin until the summer of 2025.

"As we shared during our Prop 3 Town Halls and community presentations, we have every intention of developing a dashboard on the district website so patrons can see the annual projects by building that will be funded with the annual Prop 3 funds," shared Superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain following the election.

Facilities Director Presents Update to the Board of Education

Facilities Director Chris Freund provided an update to the Board of Education and the public at the Feb. 1, 2024 Board of Education meeting.

He covered what's next following the passage of Prop 3, as well as staffing challenges and what the department and the district are doing to recruit new employees.

Prop 3 banner

Election Results

Preliminary election results show that on November 7, Proposition 3 PASSED with 66.3% of voters supporting the measure.

Thank You, Rockwood Voters!

According to the official election results posted on the St. Louis County Elections website, with all precincts reporting, 8,824 votes (66.28%) were cast in favor of Proposition 3, and 4,489 votes (33.72%) were cast against it.

According to the official election results posted on the Jefferson County Elections website, 252 votes (67.02%) were cast in favor of Proposition 3, and 124 votes (32.98%) were cast against it.

Restructuring the tax rate will allow the district to allocate resources to safety, technology and facilities with zero change to the overall tax rate.

As shown, the district’s total tax rate is comprised of four tax rates; one for each of the district's funds. Under Missouri law, tax dollars collected in each fund can only be used for the purposes of that fund. Rockwood's long-range strategic financial plan called for a transfer of funds from Debt Service to Capital Projects and that can only be done through voter approval.

  • The Incidental Fund provides resources for the daily operations of the district, including payment of salaries and benefits for non-certified employees, student transportation, curriculum resources, utilities, insurance, student activities, and other general operating costs.
  • The Teacher's Fund provides resources to pay certificated teachers' salary and benefits.
  • The Capital Projects Fund provides funding to maintain and refresh the district’s facilities and equipment.
  • The Debt Service Fund provides funding to pay interest and principal on the district's debt (bond issues).
Zero Tax Rate Increase
School Finance 101

Text alternative for this chart is in the data table below.
Category Tax Rate
before Transition
Tax Rate
after Transition
Incidental $1.2967 $1.2967
Teachers $1.8340 $1.8340
Debt Service $0.6800 $0.1400
Capital $0.0800 $0.6200
Total Tax Rate $3.8907 $3.8907

Rockwood Board of Education Votes Unanimously to Place Prop 3 on November Ballot

board directors smiling with Dr. Cain

The Rockwood School District Board of Education has voted 6-0 to place a proposition on the Nov. 7, 2023, ballot for a no-tax-increase levy transfer to establish a dedicated annual funding source for safety, technology and facilities (one board member was not present at the meeting to vote).

This funding source would eliminate the need to borrow funds and pay interest on safety items, scheduled technology upgrades and facility upkeep, ultimately saving taxpayer dollars. Proposition 3 would essentially result in a transfer of funds by increasing the operating tax levy by $0.54 over two years and simultaneously reducing the debt service levy by the same amount, resulting in a zero-tax-rate increase.

If approved, Prop 3 would be phased in over a two-year period, and the resulting operating funds would amount to approximately $26-27 million annually when fully phased in. The funds could only be used for safety, technology and facility maintenance and improvements. District staff have prioritized needs at schools across the district, and that list includes security cameras, radios, student devices, cybersecurity measures, HVAC, roofing, athletic fields and playgrounds as well as items such as chair lifts and elevators to increase accessibility for all students. Funds from Proposition 3 cannot be used for daily operating expenses such as salaries, utilities and supplies.

“Our maintenance and refresh needs are not adequately funded by current resources,” shared Chief Financial Officer Cyndee Byous while addressing the Board on August 17.

In fact, Byous shared that the funds from the last bond issue, Prop T in 2017, were depleted through projects completed this summer.

“This transfer has been part of our long-term strategic financial plan for years,” shared Byous. “The Debt Service Levy Transition Plan was first discussed in 2014, developed in 2016 and embedded in the district's strategic plan in 2018. We understand that spacious, well-maintained schools with updated technology are necessary to equip students with the tools for success, and this is a common-sense, responsible way to address those annual needs without incurring interest costs, particularly at today’s interest rates.”

A similar ballot initiative, Proposition P, failed to pass last year when 50.88 percent of district patrons opposed the measure. In a post-election survey conducted by the district, residents indicated they didn’t have enough information about the proposition to support it.

According to Byous, the district needs $30-35 million each year to keep pace with safety, technology and facility needs and the average age of a Rockwood school is 47 years old. She used an analogy to explain why a levy transfer is more responsible than issuing bonds to address those needs.

“You wouldn’t take out a mortgage to replace your roof or carpeting in your home,” Byous said. “This is more like moving money from a savings account to a checking account rather than taking out a loan. The interest savings can be used toward the necessary materials and projects.”

Proposition 3 will require a simple majority to pass.

Rockwood Board Members Share the Need for Proposition 3