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KCPS 'disappointed' county's CBA with Royals includes 'no guarantee of support' for district

Team promises to compensate KCPS for any property tax losses, continue conversations
STOCK Kansas City Public Schools KCPS 3
Posted at 4:47 PM, Mar 21, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Officials with Kansas City Public Schools believe promises the Kansas City Royals made in letters outlining the terms of a community benefits agreement with Jackson County fail to provide long-term benefits for the district.

The Royals chose the Crossroads District in downtown KCMO as the site of its new ballpark that will be built if Jackson County residents vote to approve a 3/8-cent sales tax on April 2.

If passed, it would help fund the new ballpark as well as renovations at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

KCPS says terms of Royals' CBA fall short

Construction of a downtown ballpark would require the demolition of buildings near the proposed site.

The district said it currently receives $850,000 from property taxes paid on some of those buildings.

After negotiating with the Royals, the district said an agreement is in final stages to ensure it doesn't lose out on the money.

"Kansas City Public Schools and the Royals anticipate finalizing terms to ensure the school district does not lose property tax revenues should a stadium relocate to the Crossroads," the district said in a statement.

The Royals have also pledged three to five paid internships with the team for KCPS students as part of the negotiations.

But, the district expressed disappointment in the terms of the Royals' CBA, saying it doesn't guarantee support for KCPS.

"We are disappointed that we have been unable to secure any direct long-term benefits to the district," the district said in the statement.

KCPS said it requested that the CBA pay for additional things like literacy interventionists and high-dosage tutoring.

The district is currently paying for those programs with COVID-relief money, which will expire in June.

The district also wanted the Royals to pledge funding for the Delano Youth Housing and Supportive Services, a project that will house unaccompanied youth in KCMO.

"We acknowledge that the county-negotiated CBA will include dollars for education and we are committed to being good partners with those working on education initiatives in Kansas City," the district said. "However, there is no guarantee of support for KCPS."

The district said it remains open to other proposals from the team.

Royals respond to district's concerns

In a letter the Royals released Wednesday outlining what they would commit in a CBA, education was among the things included.

The team said it would commit to providing resources and support to educational initiatives that will enhance learning for students.

The promises include scholarships, school supplies and education programs.

In response to the district, the team said it will continue conversations with KCPS to address concerns.

"The Kansas City Royals and our Foundation have had a long and successful relationship with the Kansas City Public Schools. A priority from the early days of our planning for the new ballpark district has been to make sure our schools and educators benefit from a new downtown development. To that end, the Royals will compensate KCPS to ensure there is no revenue gap in addition to what we have committed through the historic $140 million CBA with Jackson County to stand up numerous education-based supports."

— Committee to Keep the Chiefs and Royals in Jackson County